USS & TPS at-a-glance
This page provides information on the key features of USS and TPS, the two main pension schemes for higher education staff in the UK.
Teachers' Pension Scheme
Universities Superannuation Scheme
Pre 2007 and Post 2007 schemes
Final year's salary, or the best three consecutive years in the last ten years enhanced by price increases and averaged, or the hypothetical award where there has been a break in service; the best one is paid to the member.
If you are in CARE this will be used against your future salary.
Pre 2011 scheme
Highest (according to rise in retail prices) salary over the last three years, or highest revalued salary over any three consecutive years within the last 13 years. This will be tied to 31st March 2016 calculation.
Career revalued schemes
From April 2015 members in the CARE scheme will put 1/57th of their earnings annually into their pension pot and these will be revalued by CPI +1.6% annually.
There is no automatic lump sum but a member can take up to 25% of their pension pot as a lump sum. For every one pound of their annual pension they give up they will receive £12 as a lump sum.
Post 2011 CRB joiners into this scheme had 1/80th of their earnings put into the pension pot and they were revalued in line with CPI with caps.
CPI up to 5% will be simply added, after that for every 1% and extra 0.5% will be added up to a maximum of 10%. There is also a lump sum paid three times the annual pension.
Post April 2016 all members will be in CRB and 1/75th of their earnings will be put into their pension pot and revalued by CPI with caps. There is a lump sum paid which is 3 times the annual pension.
It is an hybrid scheme which means that it is Defined Benefit up to £55k after October 2015, and Defined Contribution scheme for salary over that amount.
Children's allowances following death of member
One child: half of a widow(er)'s pension; if there is no adult dependant then more can be paid. Two children or more: equal to widow(er)'s pension.
One child: 3/8 of pension the member would have received at age 65.Two children or more: 3/4 of pension the member would have received at age 65.Increased to 1/2 and full if no adult dependant's pension in payment. These benefits remain within the new scheme.
Widow(er), civil partner or nominated partner, child(ren) under age 17 unless in full-time education up to 23 years of age or dependent relative.
Widow(er), civil partner, nominated partner or dependent relative.
Employee and employer contributions
Employee: Tiered contributions 2015-6
Employee: 6.5% if in CRB section; 7.5% if in final salary section.
Employees will pay 8%
In addition members from October 2016 will be able to pay an extra 1% which will be matched by employers into the defined contribution section of the scheme.
Those members earning over £55 k will continue to pay 8% into the defined contribution section. Employers will pay 12%
In TP the maximum contributions are 45 years.
In USS the maximum contributions are 45 years.
Funded and invested
Permanency criterion and if successful then total or partial incapacity awarded. Total incapacity (TIB) gives an enhancement of 1/2 year service for every year short of the normal pension age on top of the accrued pension; partial incapacity benefit is access to your accrued pension.
Members can claim ill-health up to 2 years after leaving teaching due to ill-health and benefit as above.
If out of service then member must meet the total incapacity criteria to access their unreduced pension.
Total or partial incapacity criterion. If total awarded unreduced pension and lump sum based on the amount of pensionable service the member would have completed by 65th birthday. For partial unreduced benefits based on accrued service to date of retirement.
Members need to claim whilst in employment.
In-service death grant
3 x pensionable full-time salary
3 x pensionable pay
Post-1992 institutions, further education colleges and schools.
Pre-1992 universities, associated companies, a number of post-1992 institutions for limited categories.
All teaching staff.
Available to all staff on designation by the employer.
Normal retirement age
Pre 2007 scheme
60 for existing members.
Members have a pension age of 65 years. Existing members with breaks of more than five years from the scheme or members who on their return do not meet the criteria of 60 pensionable days' service or 30 days service in the first year, have their future service tied to a pension age of 65 years.
Members' pension age is state pension age.
Pre 2011 pension scheme
Normal pension age is state pension age adjusted at that point.
Pre 2007 pension
1/80 x pensionable salary for each year of service, but subject to actuarial reduction in some cases of early retirement.
Post 2007 pension
Members are in a 1/60 scheme without an automatic lump sum.
Members are building CARE pension and annually adding to it
Pre 2011 scheme
1/80 x pensionable salary for each year of service, but subject to actuarial reduction in some cases of early retirement
Post 2011 scheme
1/80th of earning revalued by CPI with caps, totalled at pension.
Pensions accrued in pre 2007 will be added to the CRB scheme pensions.
Pensions Post 2007 will be combined.
Retirement lump sum
Pre 2007 scheme
3 x pension, can enlarge the lump sum up to 25% of the pension pot on 1:12 ratio of annual pension.
Post 2007 scheme and Post 2015 scheme.
Members have no lump sum but can exchange up to 25% of their pension pot for a lump sum on the basis of 1:12.
Pre 2011, Post 2011 and Post 2016
3 x pension as above unless reduced to increase pension or increased by commutation in terminal ill-health retirements or enhanced from annual pension.
Adult dependant's benefit on death in-service
If married or civil partner or nominated for death grant, 3 x a final average salary, plus three months short-term payment of wages prior to the long-term pension of 1/160 of pensionable salary for each year covered by family service, payable for life.
1/2 the pension that would have been received had the member stayed in the scheme until 65, payable for life as of right.
Adult dependant's and children's pensions on death of pensioner
Long-term pension as above
As for death in-service but based on pension payable (ignoring any increase for sacrifice of lump sum or decrease for commutation), not on what would have been payable at age 65
USS allows salary sacrifice on pension contributions, this requires a contractual change and needs to be negotiated by UCU and agreed by the local branch members.