Defined Contribution Pension Plan

If you're a member of support staff and you meet the eligibility criteria, you'll automatically be put into the Defined Contribution Pension Plan (DC Plan) if you're not already in a pension scheme. If you're a new member of support staff, this'll happen three months after you join the University.

About the scheme

The DC Plan is a defined contribution scheme. You and the University pay a percentage of your salary into the scheme, and the money’s invested by The People’s Pension to give you a pot of money when you retire.

More details can be found in the Plan booklet which you can download below, and from The People’s Pension website.

Main benefits of joining

  • The DC Plan can provide you with an income for life when you retire; 
  • You can get a tax free cash sum on retirement;
  • There are early retirement options;
  • You benefit from automatic life assurance cover of 5 times your pensionable salary;
  • There’ll be a return of your investment pot if you die before retirement;
  • There’s an income protection scheme if you become too ill to work;
  • The University pays employer contributions;
  • You’ll  be able to increase scheme benefits by paying extra contributions;
  • You could be able to transfer benefits from previous pension schemes to increase the benefits you get.

And the cost to you isn't as much as you might think:

  • You get tax relief at your highest rate on your employee contribution;
  • If you contribute through the salary sacrifice (Pensions+) route your national insurance contributions are reduced.


You’ll automatically become a scheme member after you’ve worked at the University for 3 months if you:

  • are not already a member of another pension scheme at the University;
  • are over  22;
  • are under state pension age;
  • earn more that £10,000 a year (£833 a month).

Contribution rates

You’ll pay 3% of your pensionable salary into the DC Plan, and the University will pay an employer contribution of 6%. If you choose to pay more, the University will also increase its contribution. The maximum University contribution is 10%.

If you’d like to pay more into your pension, or talk to someone about it, e-mail the Pensions department.

Transferring a pension into the DC Plan

You may be able to transfer benefits from DC pension arrangements you’ve had before into your fund. If you’d like to do this, e-mail the Pensions department to ask for a Transfer Enquiry Form.

Opting out

Your joiner pack, which will be sent to your home address by People’s Pension when you join the DC Plan, contains details of how to opt out of the scheme. You might not get a refund of your contributions if you opt out more than a month after joining the scheme.


You can rejoin the scheme after opting out if you change your mind, or if your circumstances change. Contact the Pensions department and they’ll send you an application pack.


If you're over 55, you might be able to access the funds you have built up with The People’s Pension. You’ll need to contact them to get details.

To help you decide whether to use this fund to provide an income, or whether to take it as a cash sum, you might need the help of a financial advisor, or you could use the services offered by the government website.

Life Assurance cover

If you’re an active member of the scheme and you die, your dependant(s) will get a lump sum of 5 times your pensionable salary. You can download and complete a Member Wishes Form below to tell us who you’d like to get the lump sum payment.   

Income Protection Scheme

If you’ve been in the DC Plan for more than 12 months, and you’re off work ill for more than 26 weeks, you might qualify for payments under the income protection scheme, which provides an income of 50% of your salary.  For more information please email the Pensions department.