Guide for HR and Administrators at the University

It would be particularly helpful if administrators and HR staff at the University could note the following as this is a source of many queries:

  • it is not possible for new joiners to OSPS, whether new employees or due to new contracts, to opt out in advance, so please do not tell them that they can do so. See notes below as well.
  • please send us form RET1(U) (pdf) to inform us of a member retiring at least one month in advance as we cannot process retirements without this form.
  • please ensure the home address is correct for new joiners as that is the address Legal and General will write to.

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From 1 October 2017, new employees will be enrolled in the defined contribution section of OSPS called Investment Builder.

Please see the Investment Builder page for general information.

It is essential that you put the new employee’s date of birth on HRIS. We cannot register their membership without this. If you do not know a new employee’s NI number please make every effort to obtain it from them.

If a new employee is joining from one of the colleges, please ask them to contact the Pensions Office.

If an employee has a change of contract, such as regrading, taking on a new post or being made permanent, then they will be automatically enrolled into OSPS.

If they have previously opted out they will need to follow the opt out procedure if they want to opt out again. They cannot fill out a form to opt out in advance. Please remember to tell employees about this if you are making a change to their contract.

All new support staff employees should be enrolled into Investment Builder from the start of their employment. At the University this applies to all new contracts and appointments.

Opt out from the start

It is not possible to opt out in advance. There is no form for opting out from the start.

New joiners get a starter letter from Legal and General at their home address. Please make sure the address is accurate. This gives enrolment codes for their account.

Members who do not wish to join from the start should log on using the enrolment codes before the deadline given on the letter (about one month) and opt out. They will then get a refund through the payroll in due course.

Withdrawal after the deadline

After the deadline Investment Builder members can withdraw from the scheme by completing form OPT2DC (pdf) and sending it to the Pensions Office. Members withdrawing will NOT get a refund.

DB section members can withdraw by completing and returning form OPT2 (pdf) to the Pensions Office.

If an employee takes on a post that is grade 6 or above then they have to join USS on that post.

This does not apply if they are seconded to a post which is grade 6 or above. In these circumstances they will stay in OSPS unless they move to that post permanently.

If an employee’s current post is regraded to grade 6 or above then they will have to leave OSPS and join USS.

Certain employees on grade 6 or above remained in OSPS following the single spine mapping process in 2006 and 2007. However, if they take on a higher grade post they will have to move to USS.

Please remind members who leave to join USS that their benefits will not be transferred to USS automatically. If they wish to transfer their OSPS benefits they will first of all need to fill in a USS Transfer Inquiry Form. Any benefits transferred to USS will go into their investment-based section

For members who return from unpaid (sick) leave we will assume that you do not wish to pay your share of the contributions unless we hear to the contrary.

Please see the members’ page for more information on this. 

Please update these on HRIS as soon as possible. We do not get notified of any of these changes. We do not need to know about changes of address for active members. If members want us to change their name we will need to see copies of the relevant certificates.

When DB section members leave we will write to them at the home address given on HRIS so it is important that it is up to date. Investment Builder members should ensure their personal details are correct on the Legal and General website using Manage Your Account.

We do not hold home addresses for active members. For mailings we use the payslip addresses on HRIS, so it is especially important that these addresses are correct.

Please refer to the Personnel Services website for more information.

Please look at the retirement page for more information. The process is the same for DB members and Investment Builder members but the benefits are different. Please contact the Pensions Office if you have anyone who may need to retire on the grounds of ill health.

You should note that the Trustees do not normally ask for a report from Occupational Health. Even if you think an employee is not capable of doing their job on medical grounds that does not necessarily mean that they will get ill health retirement as the scheme’s criteria may be slightly different.

Remember that the ill health retirement process can take a few months or sometimes longer.

Please send in form Advance Notification of Retirement RET1(U) (pdf) as soon as an employee gives in their notice and tells you their retirement date. If you do not send this form we cannot process the employee’s retirement benefits.

If the date of retirement changes please let us know as soon as possible.

If a member dies in service please contact the Pensions Office. In particular it would be helpful  if you could give us anything you know about the members’ personal background. This will help us and the trustees decide who is potentially entitled to a lump sum and/or pension.

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