Benefits if you leave

If you joined OSPS before 1 October 2017 you are in the DB section.

If you joined OSPS after 1 October 2017 you should look at the Investment Builder page as the rest of this page is not relevant to you.

You will leave the DB section if:

  • you leave your pensionable employment and do not rejoin OSPS within one month;
  • you no longer have a support staff role;
  • you choose to opt out of OSPS; or
  • you reach age 75.

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The benefits you can receive depend on the length of your qualifying service. For most people qualifying service is the same as the length of time they have been in the scheme. However, it might be different if you have been in the scheme before or have transferred benefits in.

Up to three months qualifying service
  • a refund of contributions less deductions; or
  • or a transfer of contributions to another pension scheme
Between three months and two years qualifying service
  • a refund of contributions less deductions; or
  • a transfer of the cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) to another pension scheme
Two or more years qualifying service
  • preserved benefits in the scheme;
  • a transfer of the cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) to another pension scheme

For further information on what is meant by a refund of contributions and a transfer please see the sections below.


If you are over your NRD you cannot take a refund of contributions. You have to claim your benefits or transfer them out (with trustee approval).

If you leave without preserved benefits your benefits are ‘suspended’. This is because we do not know whether you wish to have a transfer or a refund. When you leave we will send you a letter giving the refund value and the transfer value and an option form.

If you choose to take a refund, we will pay out your contributions less:

  • your share of the cost of putting you back fully into the state pension scheme; and
  • short service refund tax (usually 20%).

Please note that contributions paid through Salary Exchange cannot be refunded.

No interest will be added if you delay claiming a refund.

In simple terms the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) is the amount of money we think we need to hold now to provide your benefits at NRD. We calculate the CETV in accordance with the instructions given by the scheme actuary and these may change periodically.

The CETV is guaranteed for three months. If the benefits are transferred out after this we will recalculate it.

The transfer value we pay is not always the CETV. A summary of what we will pay is shown below.

Leavers before 6 April 2006
  • employee contributions not taken under salary exchange if you have suspended benefits; or
  • CETV if you have preserved benefits.
Leavers after 6 April 2006
  • employee contributions not taken under salary exchange if you have less than three months qualifying service; or
  • CETV if you have more than three months qualifying service.

Transfer process

If you want to transfer your benefits to a new pension scheme you should contact them first and ask them about their transfer process. Not all pension schemes accept transfers.

We will not pay your benefits to another pension scheme until you and the new scheme have signed the appropriate paperwork.

This means that you can keep the benefits in the scheme until you either claim them or transfer them out to a new pension scheme. Preserved benefits go up in line with inflation. The trustees decide the level of inflation to be applied to each type of benefit. 

When you leave we will send you a statement of your preserved benefits. If you keep the benefits with OSPS you will get an update sent to you each year as long as we know your address.

Please see the past members page for more information.

If you are old enough and are entitled to preserved benefits you could claim your benefits in most circumstances. Please see the Retirement page for more information.

For more information about what you can do with your benefits once you have left please see the past members page.


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
       6 Worcester Street
       Oxford OX1 2BX

 : OSPS - osps@admin.ox.ac.uk
 : (01865) 616133 or 616020

 

 

 
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