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Pensions information

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Aston recognises the benefits in staff having a work life balance.  Therefore, we are pleased to announce that we are introducing a scheme, which will allow staff to purchase up to an additional 5 days or 36.5 hours annual leave per year.  This will provide employees’ with additional flexibility in respect to planned time off work and enable them to split the salary reductions over a twelve month period.

Please note that managers can only approve requests which ensure that business needs can still be met.

The scheme is available for all professional support staff whose annual leave year starts on 1st April.

The scheme is being piloted for 12 months, for the 2019-2020 annual leave year.  The University reserves the right to withdraw the scheme at any time. 

Optegra are able to offer a 10% discount on clinical services such as cataract removal, laser eye surgery, lens replacement, medical eye treatments and innovations. Available to University staff members, for information please follow this link. 

If you need the discount code to make an appointment please contact HR Pensions & Benefits at pensionsandbenefits@aston.ac.uk

In the wake of huge changes to the pension system including Auto Enrolment and Pension Freedoms, during November 2017 the government introduced a new Salary Sacrifice Scheme, deeming “pension advice” as a non-taxable benefit which can qualify for salary sacrifice arrangements, up to a limit of £500 per annum.

Save up to £310 on the cost of financial advice
When you pay for financial advice related to your pensions you can now reclaim up to £310 thanks to our new workplace benefit - Pension Advice Vouchers.

Pension Advice Vouchers allows you to swap up to £500 of your salary (that would usually be taxed) for a £500 tax free reimbursement. That means you will save the tax and national insurance that you would otherwise have paid (and could be as much as £310).

If you've already paid for financial advice this tax year then you can claim your Pension Advice Vouchers today. Alternatively if you're looking for advice, you can request a free consultation with a suitable financial adviser.

All staff receive a 15% discount when dining at Conference Aston. Visit their website for more details.

Register with The Cinema Society Club here for up to 40% off tickets. All you need to do is register with your Aston email address in order to buy tickets. Over 85% of the UK’s cinema Industry offer discounted tickets through the CSC, including VUE, Odeon, Cineworld etc.

The new recognition scheme has been designed to provide managers with the flexibility and autonomy to recognise individuals and whole teams ‘in the moment’. 

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Aston has partnered with PAM Assist to bring you a new Employee Assistance Programme.

They provide confidential support for various matters, including:

  • Managing money
  • Having a family
  • Moving house
  • Personal life
  • Retirement
  • Work life
  • Returning to work after a break
  • Family crises
  • Personal crises
  • Healthy Choices
  • Illness

They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can make use of them by calling 0800 882 4102 or going to www.pamassist.co.uk

Username: Aston

Password: Aston1

More information on the way PAM Assist works can be found by watching these videos: https://www.pamgrouptv.co.uk/ or via these presentation slides.

Aston University has teamed up with Dunham McCarthy, Estate Planning & Will Specialists, to offer Aston employees and their families a free will writing service.

All of us should have a Will…
A common mistake is to think that because you do not have considerable savings or property, you do not need to make your Will.

In fact the government is encouraging us to write our Wills at as young an age as possible especially if we have children. Did you know that not everything is passed automatically between husband and wife? Did you know that without at least one Guardian named in your Will social services could appoint a guardian for any children? The reality is that irrespective of age all of us should have a Will in place.

Why is the service FREE?
Dunham McCarthy Estate Planning & Will Specialists normally charge £119 for drafting a single Will and £189 for two Mirror Wills; all employees and their spouses/partners are being offered this service FREE of charge.

It is because so many clients ask about other services such as trust drafting, life insurance, tax planning, illness cover and document storage that it is possible for Dunham McCarthy to provide a free Will writing service (No additional services are obligatory).

  • WE COME TO YOU in the evening or on the weekend
  • Entirely FREE OF CHARGE
  • Members of the OFT approved IPW (Institute of Professional Will Writers)
  • SPECIALISTS in Wills and family protection

To arrange your appointment email enquiries@dunham-mccarthy.co.uk with your contact number or telephone 01785 711556 (Mon-Fri 9:00am – 19:00pm).  

Will Service Brochure 

Example Will

These annual Awards celebrate the amazing work carried out by Aston staff every day, commending the dedication and commitment shown within Schools and Departments to our research, students, and to the University as a whole. 

Details of all of the Awards, and the nomination procedures, can be found at www.aston.ac.uk/about/awards/. 

Aston University Nursery was founded in 1973 with a commitment to provide the highest standard of care and education.

The Salary Conversion Scheme for the Aston University Nursery has been set up to provide Tax and National Insurance savings.  Please see below for more information on this and the Nursery.

Under the Flexible Benefits Scheme, instead of the car park charges being collected from your net pay, you may exchange an amount of gross salary that is equivalent to the charge. The result being that you will pay less National Insurance, thereby reducing the cost of car park charges.

Cycle to Work is open to all employees.  By introducing a salary conversion scheme for the provision of bicycles, we can provide a bicycle for commuting and associated safety equipment free of income tax and national insurance.


We have been looking at ways of promoting charitable giving through the payroll and to provide the most effective way of making tax savings on donations.  Set out below are two methods that will enable you to make charitable donations.

 1. Give As You Earn (GAYE) - A way of making donations to a charity of your choice and receiving immediate tax relief

If you wish to make donations or require any further information please go to the Charitable Giving Website where you will find full details and an application form to complete if you wish to participate.

2. Flexible Benefits Scheme - Salary conversion for donations to Aston University to support students.

Further information and an Aston University – Charitable Donations Salary Conversion Opt In Form can be found here

The University recognise that employees with children often require flexible pre-school and out-of-school childcare in a convenient location. Childcare vouchers allow you to choose your own childcare provider and assist in reducing your childcare costs. Childcare vouchers help to improve the working lives of employees, helping you to balance work with caring responsibilities.

The new Low Emission Car Lease Scheme offers employees the opportunity to be provided with a new car benefiting from corporate discounts and savings on Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC). The car scheme will only offer cars with low CO2 emissions (120g/km or less).

For more information on this scheme click on the links below and visit the SS4C website.

Having a regular savings plan means building up a fund of money towards Christmas, a holiday or just for a rainy day and having it come directly out of your wages means saving has never been easier.  In addition, surplus profits the credit union make are returned to our members in the form of a yearly dividend. Citysave is covered by the FSCS meaning your savings up to £75,000 are secure. 

Citysave also offer access to a pre-paid Visa Debit card which has great Cashback rewards as well as a budgeting tool to help stop you from overspending. 

By becoming a member of Citysave you also have the option to set up junior savings accounts for your children or grandchildren where you will have full access over the account until the child is sixteen. There is an added option of a junior pre-paid debit card for children between 8-16 years of age with an online link so you can check your child’s spending profile. This provides parents with greater control and visibility over the alternative option of handing out cash.

Once the children reaches sixteen they will have access to their account and can start a savings plan of their own, while you, if you choose to, can also continue to save for them.

For more information on Citysave Credit Union or to join please go to https://www.citysave.org.uk/howtojoin

The Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre is a fantastic facility for staff to have at their workplace.

Permanent members of staff can choose to pay their membership fee via their monthly salary or in a one off lump sum payment. Non permanent staff can still get Aston staff prices but must pay for the membership in one lump sum.

Staff members partners and children are also able to join for the same prices as Aston Staff. For more information on this go to the Sport Aston webpage.

As a result of Aston’s affiliation to Company Travelwise in Birmingham and the University’s on-going commitment to green transport, annual travel passes purchased under the Employee Travel Pass Scheme will be available at a discounted price.

Visit our dedicated page for more information.

A BHSF health cash plan enables employees to receive cash payments towards everyday healthcare costs.

A BHSF health cash plan can help with the cost of:

  • Dental treatment
  • Eyesight tests, new glasses or contact lenses
  • Professional therapy treatments
  • Diagnostic health consultations
  • Plus many more benefits
  • An EAP to help with the stresses and strains of modern day life
  • Personal accident and injury benefit

 A BHSF health cash plan can also include:

  • An EAP to help with the stresses and strains of modern day life
  • Personal accident and injury benefit


Network Benefits