Claiming your benefits

This section is for members who joined before 1 October 2017 and who no longer contribute to the scheme but still hold benefits in it. If you are a pensioner please go to the Pensioners section.


Suspended members

If you left OSPS with less than two years qualifying service you have two options:

  • A refund of your contributions that were not taken under Salary Exchange;
  • A transfer to another pension scheme.

The refund value will remain the same but the transfer value may change as it is only guaranteed for three months.

If you would like to claim a refund now, please complete and return the suspended options form. 

Preserved members

If you left with more than two years qualifying service you have preserved benefits.  If we know your address you should receive a statement each year showing their current value.

Your preserved benefits will go up in line with inflation until you:

  • Transfer them to a new pension scheme; or
  • Claim them from OSPS.

Transferring your benefits

If you would like to transfer your benefits to a new pension scheme, you should contact them first to see if they will accept a transfer and then ask them about their transfer procedure. Some schemes do not accept transfers at all.

Your benefits will not be transferred unless you sign a form asking us to pay the money to another scheme. In some cases we may also need confirmation that you have taken independent financial advice.

If you live outside the UK you can transfer to a scheme in your new country if it is on an approved list provided by HMRC. These approved foreign schemes are called QROPS for short. For guidance on QROPS, please see the Government website.

Be careful of fraudsters contacting you making extravagant investment offers if you transfer your benefits to them or saying you can take cash out of the scheme before your minimum retirement age. These are scams. See the Pensions Regulator website for more information.

Claiming preserved benefits - Retirement

If you joined OSPS before 6 April 2006, you can claim benefits form 50. Your benefits are due in full from 65 for Final Salary members and the Statutory Retirement Date (SRD) for CARE members.

If you joined OSPS on or after 6 April 2006, you can claim benefits form 55. Your benefits are due in full from 65 for Final Salary members and the Statutory Retirement Date (SRD) for CARE members.

If we know your address we will contact you shortly before age 65 about claiming your benefits. You can defer your benefits beyond age 65 if you let us know in writing before age 65.

You will have options regarding the level of pension and cash you take, subject to government limits.

If your benefits are small enough and you are over 55 you may be able to take your benefits as a single lump sum, some of which will be taxed. This is called trivial commutation. For more information, see the Pensions Advisory Service website.

If you want to claim your benefits early please contact us.

Be careful of fraudsters contacting you saying you can take cash out of the scheme before your minimum retirement age. They often use phrases like ‘free pension review’, ‘pension release’ or ‘pension liberation’. These are scams. See the Pensions Regulator website for more information.

Early and late retirement

If you take your benefits before the date they are due in full (this may vary for different elements), then we will reduce them by an early retirement factor. For example, for five years early the reduction would currently be 18%.

If you take your benefits after the date they are due in full (this may vary), then we will enhance them by a late retirement factor. Currently this is 4.5% for each year you take the benefits late.

For more information please contact the Pensions Office.

Ill health retirement

If you are too ill to do any work you can apply to the trustees to claim your preserved benefits early without penalty. The procedure is similar to that for active members, but without the involvement of the employer. Please contact the Pensions Office for more information.

Retirement process

The retirement process is as follows:

  • not more than three months in advance of your retirement date (or upon request) we will send you a statement giving your options and enclosing forms for you to complete;
  • if we have received correctly completed forms we will set up payment of your benefits for your retirement date.

Benefits options

On your retirement statement we will give you three options:

  • standard pension and cash
  • maximum cash
  • no cash

You can also ask for figures for specific pension and cash figures subject to the maximum limits.

If you have money-purchase benefits in the scheme, either as Prudential AVCs or the OSPS bonus, we will include these in your statement. You do have the option to take these benefits separately.

Payment of benefits

We will send you a cheque for your lump sum (if any) to your home address on the first working day after your retirement date.

Your pension will be paid through the University payroll. The payment date is the last but one working day of each month.

Death benefits

If you die with preserved benefits we will pay out the value of the preserved lump sum. The beneficiary or beneficiaries will be at the discretion of the trustees. You can fill in form NOM4 to guide the trustees. Adult dependents and children may also be entitled to a proportion of the preserved pension.