Pensions Information

The University provides academic and academic related members of staff, if eligible, with the opportunity to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Non-academic staff, if eligible, had the opportunity prior to 1 April 2014 to join the University of Glasgow Pension Scheme (UGPS). Non-academic staff now have the opportunity to join the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) pension scheme.

Continued active membership of the MRC Pension Scheme is automatic to those staff were in that scheme and who transferred from the Medical Research Council under the TUPE regulations.

Continued active membership of the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme (STSS) is automatic to those academic staff at St Andrew’s College, who were in the STSS Scheme immediately before 1 April 1999, and who transferred to an academic post in the School of Education at the University. Eligibility will cease whenever they cease to be employed in such a post at that School.

Continued active membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is automatic for University employees who were active members of this Scheme immediately before 1 April 1999. Continued membership is not conditional on remaining at a post in the School of Education.

Employees remaining on St Andrew’s College terms and conditions may join USS and UGPS, as appropriate, only if they accept a University contract on University terms and conditions.

Continued active membership of the National Health Service (NHS) Superannuation Scheme, may be possible for certain new University employees - provided an application to remain within this Scheme is lodged with the NHS within the stipulated time limits. Continued active membership is normally confined to those employees who are employed as lecturers by the University on a contract of five years or less, or who have previously contracted with the NHS Superannuation Scheme to take out added years additional voluntary contributions.

New employees are normally eligible to join either USS or NEST, and in accordance with CVCP policy established in 1988, automatic and immediate entry into the relevant pension scheme is arranged. Employees wishing to opt out of the pension scheme can do so.

Any employee considering opting out is asked to bear in mind the benefits being foregone - particularly the death in service and ill-health cover, if provided, which can be important even if only a short period of membership is being considered. The University will not contribute, on the member’s behalf, to other than the occupational pension scheme that the member is eligible to join. The level of the University’s contribution, on the member’s behalf is substantial.


Both USS and UGPS are Salary Related Schemes. This means that the members' benefits are not dependent on investment performance as with money purchase schemes. Instead they are based on length of service, pensionable salary, and an annual benefit accrual fraction. Both Schemes operate on the balance of cost principle. This means that individual members pay a fixed percentage of their pensionable salaries into either Scheme. This percentage remains constant irrespective of the requirements of the respective funds. The balance of cost necessary to pay the Scheme benefits, as determined by the actuarial calculation, falls on the University.

Current pension contributions are payable on the full salary as follows:

  • USS
    Employee contribution is 6.1% of annual salary
  • UGPS
    Employee contribution is 7.5% of annual salary

Members of USS and UGPS are provided with a member's handbook which provides information on the benefit structure of their particular Scheme.


NEST is a defined contribution scheme. This means that members and the University pay a set amount of contributions which are invested and the retirement pot which builds up is used to provide an income for members when they retire. A total of 15% of pensionable pay will be paid into NEST for contracted non-academic staff, split as follows:

  • Employee contribution is 4% of annual salary
  • University contribution is an amount equal to 10% of annual salary
  • The Government's contribution, in the form of tax relief, is an amount equal to 1% of annual salary

As the tax relief is paid in this way, contributions to NEST cannot be paid through Pensions Plus (for details see Pensions Plus).

Once you’ve been enrolled into NEST you’ll receive a welcome pack in the post. The pack gives you all the information you need to understand how NEST works. Your welcome letter also contains your unique NEST ID and tells you how to switch on your online account. You can use your online account to check the value of your retirement pot, change the fund your money is invested in or use the pension calculator to find out what your pension could be at retirement.

Further information on NEST is available on their website at                   

Pension Queries

Queries on individual pension issues should be raised in the first instance with Pay & Pensions.