This page contains information on joining OSPS before 1 October 2017, including any eligability and documentation requirements.

You are eligible for OSPS if you:

  • are employed as support staff at the University or one of the participating colleges;
  • are under age 75

If you are a new employee you will join from first day of your employment, even if you are on probation or on a short-term contract.

If you work for a college and work irregular hours you can only join at the discretion of your employer. University employees join automatically.

Many of the college employers, including the University, also use OSPS as their auto-enrolment scheme. Please see the auto-enrolment page for more details.

Opting out

If you do not wish to join you will have to sign and return an opt out form. Please think very carefully before giving up the valuable benefits offered by OSPS. For more details, please see the opt out section.

At the University you may need to sign another opt out form if you are re-enrolled due to a change of contract, or auto-enrolled due to government legislation.


We strongly recommend that all new joiners complete a Member’s wishes concerning disposal of Death in Service lump sum (NOM1) form (23kb) to tell us their wishes regarding the death in service lump sum.

Please send us photocopies or scanned copies of your birth certificate or passport so that we can verify your date of birth. You can also bring us the originals in person but please make an appointment first.

College employees should be given Application to join (APP1) form (22kb) to complete to register their membership and choose their cost plan.

New University employees can choose the Lower or Higher cost plan if they return Pension Choice Form (APP5) (58kb) within two months of joining.

All new members will receive a starter letter including standard forms and a scheme booklet.

Cost plans

New joiners will automatically join the Standard Cost Plan unless they choose otherwise. Please refer to the How much does it cost section for more details.

Please note: If you leave one OSPS employer and join another one within one month you have to stay on the same cost plan.

Salary Exchange

Certain employers, including the University, use Salary Exchange to collect employee contributions. Contributions taken in this way cannot be refunded to you if you leave the scheme with this option.

At the University you will go into Salary Exchange automatically after three months. If you do not wish to go into Salary Exchange you need to send the Salary Exchange opt out form to payroll within three months of joining OSPS.

If your college uses Salary Exchange please ask the Accounts Office how their scheme works.

Promotion and regrading

If you are promoted into a non-support staff role or your post is reassessed as being a non-support staff one then you cannot remain in OSPS. At the University all posts at grade 6 or above are regarded as non-support staff so if you move to a post at this grade you will have to leave OSPS and join USS.

Different colleges have different policies on what posts they regard as support staff posts. For example, it may depend on the type of work done rather than the salary level.