Benefits summary

This page is currently being updated and the information you'll find here relates to UMSS at 31 December 2018.

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What's UMSS? Back

UMSS is the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme which is designed to help you save for retirement. UMSS is a good quality arrangement that enables members to build up pension benefits in a tax-efficient way. The University will even pay towards the cost of providing your pension!

As a member you'll benefit from:

  • a pension at retirement, for life
  • a cash lump sum at retirement (currently paid tax free)
  • significant contributions from the University
  • regular increases to your pension in payment
  • a pension if you're too ill to work
  • a lump sum if you die in service
  • pensions for your dependants

There are two sections of UMSS:

  • The Final Salary section
  • The CARE section

The Final Salary section closed to new members from 1 April 2012. New members joining UMSS after that date join the CARE section.

Not sure which section of UMSS you belong to?

Contact the Pensions Office.

How do I join? Back

  • There's no paperwork – you will automatically join the Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) section of UMSS from day one!
  • In the CARE section you'll pay 6.5% of your Pensionable Earnings each month (this will be automatically deducted from your salary).
  • You'll be able to opt out of UMSS if you wish but you can rejoin at any time.
  • If you do opt out, you will automatically be opted back into UMSS in the future (see section 5).

What does it cost? Back

Your contributions are 6.5% of your Pensionable Salary. The University pays the balance of the cost of your benefits. The actual cost to you is less because you pay less tax as a member. If you pay via PensionChoice, the actual cost is further reduced as you pay less National Insurance. See the PensionChoice guide for more information.

Here's how it works:
Ben earns £24,000 a year. In the CARE section, his contributions to UMSS will be 6.5% of his Pensionable Salary. Let's compare how much this costs him with and without PensionChoice:

With  PensionChoice

Ben's Pensionable Salary: £1,870 a month (after 6.5% pension contribution of £130)

Tax: £190.67

National Insurance: £143.80

Take-home pay: £1,535.53

Without  PensionChoice

Ben's Pensionable Salary: £2,000 a month

6.5% pension contribution: £130.00

Tax: £190.67

National Insurance: £159.40

Take-home pay: £1,519.93

Figures based on 2016/17 tax year and standard personal allowances.

PensionChoice is a different way of funding your pension. As you pay lower National Insurance, your take-home pay increases. Further information about PensionChoice is available on StaffNet. Use the modeller to find out how much you could save.

In Ben's case, being a member of PensionChoice means he is £15.60 a month or £187.20 a year better off.

What do I get? Back

CARE section

In the CARE section your pension is calculated every year you are an active member using your salary each year. You also build up a cash lump sum to take at retirement.

The pension you earn each year is also 'revalued' (increased in line with inflation, based on the Consumer Prices Index up to a maximum of 5% a year).

Cash lump sum
In addition to your pension, you will receive a cash lump sum of three times your annual pension when you retire.

Final Salary section

The pension you receive each year will be 1/80th of your Final Pensionable Salary for each year (or part year) you have contributed to UMSS.

Your pension will be calculated as follows:

Cash lump sum
In addition to your pension, you will receive a cash lump sum of 3/80ths of your Final Pensionable Salary for each year (or part year) you have contributed to UMSS.

Your cash lump sum will be calculated as follows:

UMSS is flexible, when you retire you can choose how much cash lump sum and pension you want to take (subject to limits). The more cash you take, the smaller your pension will be.

What about opting out? Back

If, after you've been a member of UMSS for a few months you decide membership of UMSS isn't right for you, you can opt out by completing an 'opt out' form. You should be able to get a refund of the contributions you have paid to UMSS.

If you do opt out, you will be automatically opted back into UMSS in the future in line with the Government's auto enrolment rules. You will be able to rejoin at any time, you do not have to wait to be opted back into UMSS.

What about State benefits? Back

At retirement, you'll receive the State Pension as well as benefits from UMSS.

What about my dependants if I die? Back

If you die while working for the University your family will receive the following:

When can I take my pension? Back

Normal Retirement Age in UMSS is currently age 65. If you take your pension before age 65 it will be reduced for early payment.

The Normal Retirement Age in UMSS is linked to the State Pension Age (the age you can take your State Pension). This means that when the State Pension Age increases, so will the Normal Retirement Age in UMSS. For example, the State Pension Age will increase to age 66 by October 2020 and then further to age 67 between 2026 and 2028. As a result, the Normal Retirement Age in UMSS will also increase to age 67 by 2028 for benefits built up after that date.

Contact us Back

Call us on: 0161 275 2043

This summary is only a guide. You will find more detailed information about how the CARE section works in the CARE booklet.

The formal terms of UMSS are contained in the Trust Deed and RulesIf there is any discrepancy between the details contained in this summary and the Trust Deed and Rules, the Trust Deed and Rules will prevail.

Contact us

For more information about UMSS, contact us using one of the following:

0161 275 2043