Explanatory Notes on USS Pension Arrangements during period of Partially Paid or Unpaid leave of Absence

Explanatory Notes on USS Pension Arrangements during period of Partially Paid or Unpaid leave of Absence

The length of time you may be absent, during which you may remain a member of USS, depends on the reason for the absence. If, for instance, the work is of national importance the period may be unlimited but subject to Inland Revenue consent if greater than 10 years. You can be seconded or undergo full-time education connected with your employment for up to 10 years but please note that in the case of secondment, the University must be satisfied that the new employer is aware you will return to work at the University when the period of secondment ends. USS will permit membership to continue in respect of other absences provided the intention is they last no longer than one year. USS must approve in advance all other categories of absence where the intention is that they will last for more than one year.

If your absence is unpaid or partly paid, then you have the option of either continuing or temporarily suspending your USS membership.

Continuing Contributions

Please note the following points:

  • Where unpaid or partially paid leave of absence has been agreed, you may continue to contribute to USS during this period if the University agrees to continue to pay its share of contributions on your behalf. The Payroll Section, Finance Office will inform you of the amount of employee contributions payable and will make arrangements with you regarding their payment.
  • If you are paying additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) you must include them in your payment arrangements -failure to do so will result in your AVC contract being terminated.
  • If you continue to pay contributions to USS, you cannot join another occupational pension scheme in the UK
  • Please note that you are not prohibited from joining an overseas retirement benefits scheme while seconded overseas.

Suspended Contributions

If no contributions to USS are to be made during the leave of absence period, then the period of absence will be deemed by USS to be a period of suspended membership. This means that the period concerned will not count as pensionable service. In addition, were you to die during this period of suspended membership, no death in service benefits would be payable.

You have the option however to pay, during the period of suspended membership,
a special contribution rate to USS that will ensure normal benefits would be payable in the event of your death in service or retirement due to ill-health grounds during the period of suspended membership.

Please complete the attached form as appropriate in order that the necessary pension arrangements can be made on your behalf and return as possible to Payroll Section, Finance Office, University of Glasgow G12 8QQ, marking the envelope 'Leave of Absence'.