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Human Resources


The College offers three pension schemes to its eligible staff and casual workers, with eligibility to join a scheme being determined by your job role and/or grade of your post. If you are new to the College and meet the relevant criteria, you will be automatically enrolled into the relevant pension scheme.  Once enrolled, you will have the opportunity to ‘opt-out’ if you so wish.

Both you and the College will contribute to your pension to provide a generous level of pension in retirement along with immediate life cover, an inflation-proofed pension and long-term illness cover after the qualifying period has ended.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I join a pension scheme?

We will give you the option to join a pension scheme when you first join Queen Mary. Your induction includes a meeting with an HR Administrator and a Pensions Officer.
Current staff: Just contact a Pensions Officer who will be happy to help you.

Can I choose which pension scheme I join?

No. This is dependent on your terms and conditions of employment.

How do I contact my pension scheme?

The addresses of the pension schemes are listed below.  Please ensure you have your National Insurance number available for reference.

How much does your employer spend on Pensions?

Please click below to see how much is spent on UK HE pensions:

 to view how much is spent on UK HE pensions

USS Limited
3rd Floor Royal Liver Building
Liverpool, L3 1PY

0845 068 1110 (local rate call charge number)

USS Guide [PDF 8,579KB]

SAUL Trustee Company
1 King's Arms Yard

020 7776 4340

SAUL Start Guide [PDF 526KB]

NHS Pension Agency
Hesketh House
200-220 Broadway
Lancs, FY7 8LG

01253 774774

At what age can I retire?

This varies depending upon the pension scheme and the date you join. Please contact an HR Pensions Officer and we will be able to give you assistance.

What do I do if I want to retire after I have passed my scheme retirement age?

You should offer the notice stated in your contract in writing to your line manager/head of department, sending copies of the letter to your Pensions Officer.  It is also really helpful if you inform the Pensions Officer of your intention at least three months before the date of retirement so we can make sure there are no delays.

What happens to my benefits if I leave employment (not retiring)?

We have three options available to you, however option one only applies in the first two years of pension membership and provided you have not transferred into your scheme any other service.

1. Refund of contributions less adjustment for tax and National Insurance if leaving or withdrawing from the pension scheme within the first two years.  This option is not available if you are in the Pension Plus Salary Sacrifice Scheme. 

2. Deferred benefits payable when you reach retirement age.

3. Transfer into another pension scheme provided the receiving scheme accepts the transfer in.  You may wish to seek independent financial advice before taking this action.

In all cases we will inform your College Pension scheme that you have left and they should contact you to provide a statement of benefits.

What do I need to do when I’m leaving employment (not retiring)?

We will be informed of your departure by the relevant HR Administrator, so as long as they are in possession of a correct forwarding address for you then there is no need for further action.  However, if you are a member of SAUL or USS and you are planning to take up another position where you are remaining in the same scheme, we need to know this before you leave so please contact us to inform us.  Current staff: Please contact an HR Pensions Officer.

How do I leave the pension scheme but remain in College employment?

If you are under your scheme retirement age -  why would you want to?  If you opt to leave the pension scheme, you are effectively giving up an extra percentage of your salary which Queen Mary contributes towards your pension by way of Employers Contribution.  If you still want to leave, inform us in writing (email is fine - that you wish to leave, and we will issue you the appropriate form to complete. This will take up to 28 days to be processed.

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