Processing New Members at Colleges


All new employees under age 75 have to join the scheme from the start of their employment. Even if they are on probation they must still join from the first day. Waiting periods are not allowed under the rules. New employees cannot opt out from the start by signing a form.

There is no minimum earnings threshold for new employees. Do not apply the government auto-enrolment criteria to new employees.

However, you do not have to admit employees who work irregular hours. You do not have to readmit employees who have previously opted out.

If you have a policy of not readmitting employees if they opt out you should make this clear to them if they ask to opt out.

Almost all new joiners should go into the DC section called Investment Builder. A small number retain the right to stay in the DB section in certain circumstances (see below).

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This is the process to follow for new joiners.

1) Check if the new employee has come from another OSPS employer, are still employed there or has joined you within a month of leaving. If they have they may still be eligible for membership of the old DB section (see below).

2) If the employee is not eligible for the DB Section (as is most likely) then you should complete and return the new Investment Builder starter spreadsheet to us as soon as possible (there is no starter form). You must include all new eligible employees even if you know they wish to opt out as they cannot sign a form to opt out in advance.

  • you can put more than one member on the form or individually;
  • the default tier is tier 2, but if the member tells you they want to go onto tier 1 or 3 you can put this on the spreadsheet and deduct at this level – there is no need for a member to complete a form;
  • new members can change within three months if they change their mind, in which case they should complete and return form APP5DC (pdf) to us – contributions at the new rate can start at the next available pay period (ie not backdated). After the first three months they will have to wait until the following April;
  • please note that new employees already in Investment Builder will have to pay on the same tier as they were on at their old employer;
  • if we do not have starter details for a new member we cannot send contributions to Legal and General so the starter spreadsheet should be sent us before you send us your monthly remittance.


3) Please ask the new member to complete and return nomination form NOM1 (pdf).

4) It is possible for Investment Builder members to transfer benefits in from other investment-based schemes, so please give members form TVIN1 (pdf) as well.

5) Information about Investment Builder benefits is available on General information sheet INFSHDC (pdf) 

6) Tell new members to look out for a letter at their home address from Legal and General. This will give them details on how to log into their account or opt out (if they so wish).

Pensions Office action

When we have received the starter spreadsheet we will inform Legal and General about the new member(s). We usually do this once a month. At this point Legal and General will send new members a starter letter to the home address you have given on the starter spreadsheet which will allow them:

  • to register and log on to their OSPS account held by L&G and update their details, change investment choices and so on;
  • follow the process to opt out (if they so wish) before the short deadline given on the letter, in which case any contributions taken will be returned to you via us for reimbursement to the member.

Please read the members' page on opting out.

Please note that employees cannot sign a form to opt out from the start. This means that they will almost certainly have to have contributions taken from their first payslip.

Members who wish to opt out after the deadline on the L&G letter should complete the following form OPT2DC (pdf), but they will not be eligible for a refund. They should give this form to you and you should send it to us together with form OPT3 (pdf). You should also mark them as a leaver on the monthly remittance spreadsheet.

New members can change their contribution tier by completing the  APP5DC form (pdf) within the first three months. They only need to do this if they want to change from the tier you entered on the starter spreadsheet.

If they have come from the University or another college please contact us and check that they should be in the OSPS Investment builder section. Members cannot change their cost plan in the middle of the scheme year.

If you know a member has come from the University or another college participating in OSPS please contact us to ensure you put them in the correct section of the scheme and collect the correct level of contributions.

It is far better to do this from the start than try and correct things later.

The only new employees who can join the old DB section are:

  • existing members of the DB section who have come to you from another OSPS employer within one month of leaving (these members have to stay on the same cost plan);
  • existing members of the DB section at another OSPS employer who are taking a further job with you at the same time (these members can pay on a different cost plan if they wish).

If this does apply we will need starter form APP1 (pdf)

Please consult us if you are not sure about the status of a new employee. It is a lot easier if they go into the correct section from the start as unravelling things can be difficult.

Some members with previous periods of OSPS membership not linked to their current period choose to transfer these internally into their current period. This is still allowed under certain conditions, so any members who ask about this should contact us and we will look into the matter. It particularly makes sense for DC members with previous DB benefits in OSPS which they are not allowed to keep with us because they were a member for less than two years.

The Trust Deed and Rules of OSPS take precedence over anything said on this page.

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Contact Us

 : Pensions Office
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET

 : OSPS -
 : (01865) 616020 or 616144