Pensions

Kent is committed to providing good quality occupational pension schemes for its staff to enable them to make financial provision for retirement.

The Pensions Office is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we cannot provide financial advice. You might want to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser about the options available to you. You can find more details of advisers in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk

Kent offers two principal pension schemes to its staff:

  • the Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL)
  • the University Superannuation Scheme (USS

Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL)

This is a 'defined benefit' scheme which means that the benefit received is based on earnings and length of membership. The scheme provides a monthly pension and a tax-free lump sum on retirement and death benefits for families and dependents.

University Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Membership of USS is open to grade 6 research assistants and to all staff, grades 7 and above.

This is a defined benefit pension scheme where benefits are based on each year's salary throughout the period of membership (on a Career Revalued Benefits basis).

The scheme provides:

  • a monthly pension 
  • a tax-free lump sum on retirement
  • death benefits for families and dependents

University contributions

SAUL - Members pay a monthly contribution equal to 6% of salary, while Kent contributes 16% in order to guarantee your benefits.

USS - Members pay a monthly contribution equal to 9.6% of salary, while Kent contributes 21.1%.

Auto-enrolment

Kent, as a responsible employer, must monitor the age and earnings level of every employee who is not otherwise in a workplace pension scheme.

When a member of staff becomes eligible for auto-enrolment, we arrange for them to become a member of a qualifying workplace pension scheme and start their contributions to the chosen scheme.

Staff become eligible for auto-enrolment when they are:

  • aged at least 22 but under state pension age
  • are working or ordinarily work in the UK under their contract
  • have qualifying earnings payable by the employer in the pay period that are above the earnings trigger for automatic enrolment. 

Be aware: staff who turn 22 mid-month will be auto-enrolled on their birth date and a pro-rata pension contribution deducted from their salary.

PensionsPlus

PensionsPlus is a salary exchange arrangement. By participating, members agree to give up a portion of salary, equivalent to their member pension contribution which the University will pay on their behalf.

The total pension contribution paid into USS or SAUL and the amount of pension built up will not change, but less National Insurance contributions will be paid on the reduced, post-exchange salary, thereby increasing take-home pay. Consequently, both the pension scheme member and the University make a saving.  

Key contacts

Additional advice on pension-related issues is available from the Pension Advisory Service.

Opting-out

We will inform staff in writing of  details of the automatic enrolment. Staff will then have one month in which to opt-out of membership if he/she does not wish to remain a member.

Staff must contact the pension scheme directly in order to obtain an opt-out form; Kent does not provide them.  If staff opt-out quickly enough, initial contributions can be refunded as if they had never joined. Unfortunately, it is not possible to opt-out in advance.

Kent will re-enrol staff after a period of three years if they are still eligible. Staff can then opt-out again at that time.

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