B1: Main page
All new employees, who have contracts of service are eligible to be members of the Research Councils’ Pension Scheme (RCPS) arrangements. In the main, if you have a contract of service for 12 months or more, you will be automatically be enrolled in the Nuvos scheme* unless you indicate in writing that you wish to set up a partnership pension account, or opt out of the Nuvos scheme..
*There are exceptions, particularly for people who have earlier pension service with the Research Councils, the civil service or by analogy schemes, who may instead be able to join the Classic or Premium versions of the RCPS. JSS Pensions Administration will be able to advise on eligibility.
A decision to opt out must be made within three months of the date of appointment in order for an opt out to be backdated to the date of appointment. You can opt out from the Nuvos scheme after the first three months but the option would then not be back-dated.
The Nuvos scheme is an occupational pension scheme with a 3.50% member contribution rate. Your employer also makes a substantial contribution. All members of this scheme are contracted out of the State Second Pension scheme (S2P).
The full rules of the Nuvos scheme are available from JSS pensions administration and can be accessed via their website http://jsspensions.nerc.ac.uk
As an alternative, the Partnership Pension account is available, which is a stakeholder pension arrangement to which your employer will make contributions based upon your age. You do not have to contribute, but if you do we will match your contributions up to 3% of pensionable pay. If you set up a Partnership Pension account you will NOT be contracted out of the S2P.
If you have a contract of service for less than 12 months, you are still eligible to join either pension arrangement, although there may be exceptions, but you will need to make a positive choice as to which one you want to join – You will not be defaulted to either pension arrangement.
If you do not have a contract of service, you will not be entitled to join arrangement. For advice contact your head of Human Resources.
For information, a summary of the benefits of the pension arrangements is given below. However, you are advised to read the scheme booklets which are available from the JSS website http://jsspensions.nerc.ac.uk
The Nuvos pension scheme is a defined benefit occupational pension scheme with a pension age of 65. Benefits are as follows:
- Retirement pension, based on pensionable earnings throughout the career and increased in line with the retail prices index
- Lump sum available upon retirement by giving up some pension
- The ability to take pension benefits before pension age, whereby pension is reduced for early payment
- The ability to take pension benefits after pension age, whereby pension is increased for late payment
- Scope to purchase added pension for member only, or for member and dependants, within the Nuvos scheme. In addition, scope to contribute to a money purchase AVC arrangement – in house or privately
- A lump sum death in service benefit of 2 times pensionable pay
- Pension benefits for spouse, eligible partners/civil partners and children
- Ill health retirement benefits
- The ability to transfer accrued pension rights in previous schemes to the Nuvos scheme – subject to the rules of the scheme
- The ability to transfer accrued pension rights in the scheme to another pension scheme – subject to the rules of the scheme
The Partnership pension account provides benefits as follows:
- a choice of pension annuity the value of which is determined by the nature of the annuity, the level of employee and employer contributions, and the performance of the fund
- a lump sum death in service benefit of 3 times pensionable pay
- other benefits as per items 8 to 10 as above (but please note that those items are broad categories and the exact benefits are not necessarily identical to the benefits available under the Nuvos scheme. See the scheme rules for details)
Your employer provides benefits as follows:
- early retirement and severance benefits
- injury benefits for injuries sustained whilst on duty
You can withdraw from the scheme but must do so in writing to JSS Pensions administration, who will advise.
Last updated 25/05/10
Amendment 94 - May 2010