The Aston University Pension Scheme (AUPS) is a University run pension scheme for staff of grades 1-6. Scheme information and forms are available below. Alternatively contact Elaine Millard, Pensions & Employee Benefits Manager or Peter Brookes, Pensions & Employee Benefits Administrator for more details.
Your contract of employment will state if your university employment is subject to membership of AUPS. If your contract is pensionable you are automatically a member of the scheme until you opt out (except if you are ineligible for membership – see below). Please also note that the university is operating AUPS as a “salary sacrifice” arrangement, the implications of which are explained in “the university’s flexible benefits salary conversion scheme”.
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If you wish to opt out of membership of AUPS you can do so. An opt out form can be obtained by contacting the Pensions & Employee Benefits Administrator. You cannot obtain the form ahead of your date of joining the Scheme.
If you have a pensionable contract of employment you will not be entered into the scheme if you are ineligible for automatic membership. These are the only reasons for not being immediately eligible for AUPS membership:
You are aged under 18, or 65 and over, at commencement of the relevant Aston University pensionable employment.*
You carry out the majority of your duties for the University in a European Union country other than the United Kingdom.
*If you are aged 16 or 17 or 65 to 74 you may opt in should you wish to do so.
If you have previously opted out of membership and now wish to opt in you can do so provided you are not ineligible for membership.
To encourage more saving for retirement, the Government has introduced a requirement for employers to enrol employees (subject to certain age and earnings limits) into work place pension arrangements. This is commonly referred to as auto-enrolment. Aston University became subject to this requirement on 1 August 2013.
The University already enrols into AUPS the majority of its employees on grades 1 to 6 at commencement of employment or at the time they first meet the eligibility criteria for membership. This contractual enrolment into AUPS is part of the Terms and Conditions of employment.
Where the University has contractually enrolled you into AUPS the auto-enrolment requirement does not apply unless you opt out of membership of the Scheme. If you do opt out, you will immediately become subject to the auto-enrolment requirements. Generally, this will only affect you at the re-enrolment date (every three years from 1 August 2013). However, there may be individual circumstances when the University will be required to auto-enrol you ahead of the 3 year re-enrolment. Typically this will be because your earnings were below the auto-enrolment level whilst you were a member of the Scheme but they have now gone above that level*. A notice will be sent to you if you are to be auto-enrolled and you will be able to opt out again should you wish to do so.
Further information on auto-enrolment can be found here.
(link to page http://www1.aston.ac.uk/staff/hr/benefits/pensions/auto-enrolment/)
* The earnings level for 2015/2016 is £833.00 per month/£192.00 per week. The assessment for auto-enrolment is carried out on actual pay received in the pay period – the pay month or week. Therefore, if your employment commences towards the end of a month, for example, your pay for that month may be below the auto-enrolment level, but go above the level for the next month when you will receive a full month’s salary. This can result in an individual being contractually enrolled at commencement of employment, opting out straightaway, but being auto-enrolled at the beginning of the following month. The Government has indicated that it intends to amend this particular part of the regulations with an intention of not requiring auto-enrolment where an individual has already opted out in the last 12 months.
The following forms should be used in conjunction with the Scheme Guide: