This page contains guidance on the administration of members who leave OSPS, including those who opt out, join USS and retire.

Leaver forms

You should send us the following forms if a member has left the scheme:

If you operate Salary Exchange you should use the salary exchange versions of the forms, available on the OSPS forms page.

Guide to completing leaver forms

Please make sure you give us the member’s home address as we will write to them there with their options. Please remember to give salary and hours changes.

If you operate salary exchange please use the salary exchange versions of the leaver forms so that we have all the information we need.

If the member has been with you for less than two years and was in the scheme before 1 April 2016 you must put the NI contracted out (NICO) pay on the form. This may include the last year but one in some cases. We have noticed that there is some confusion over NICO pay, so here is some guidance:

  • NICO pay is the pay subject to NI contributions between the LEL and the UEL, which may be split into several columns on certain payroll systems;
  • It is not the NI contributions;
  • It is not all pay subject to NI contributions;
  • Do not include periods when the member was not a member of OSPS eg they may have opted in or been auto-enrolled part way through a year;
  • If you operate salary exchange we need to know the NICO pay for the period when the member was not in Salary Exchange (if any).

We need the NICO pay to calculate possible refunds of contributions. Hence we do not really need to know it if a member has been with you for more than two years or has joined after 1 April 2016.

Opting out

If a member opts out in the first three months you can refund both the employee and employer contributions through the payroll.

If a member opts out after the first three months they have to give 28 days notice. You should take them out of the scheme on the last day of the pay period in which the notice period expires. For example, if you have a monthly payroll and the member gives you the opt out form on 19 March you should take contributions up to the end of April.

If you have a policy of not readmitting employees if they opt out you should make this clear to them if they ask to opt out.

Leaving employment or leaving to join USS

If a member is promoted into a post in which they have to join USS then they do not have to give 28 days notice. It is the same as if they had left employment. It would be helpful if you could write on the form that they have left to join USS.

If you know a member is leaving you to join the University or another college it would be helpful if you could put this in the appropriate box on the relevant Leaver form.


Please send us a Advance notification of member retiring (RET1) form (84kb) as soon as a member tells you they are going to retire. We will then contact them with their retirement options, but not more than three months in advance of the retirement date.

If the member is going on flexible retirement please put the before and after salaries on the form so that we can check it is a valid application.

If the retirement date changes please let us know as soon as possible.

Flexible retirement

If you agree, members can reduce their hours or salary by at least 20% and take 20 to 80% of their benefits without leaving employment. The University’s Personnel Services website gives more information.

Ill health retirement

Please look at the members’ section for more information. Please contact the Pensions Office if you have anyone who may need to retire on the grounds of ill health.

You should note that the Trustees do not normally ask for a report from Occupational Health. Even if you think an employee is not capable of doing their job on medical grounds that does not necessarily mean that they will get ill health retirement as the scheme’s criteria may be slightly different.

Remember that the ill health retirement process can take a few months or sometimes longer.

Death in service

If a member dies in service please contact the Pensions Office. In particular it would be helpful if you could give us anything you know about the member's personal background. This will help us and the trustees decide who is potentially entitled to a lump sum and/or pension.