Welcome to Pensions

The Pensions Team support members of staff with all aspects of their pension scheme membership. This includes assisting new employees as well as those leaving employment or retiring.  If you need any assistance regarding your pension, for example, you may wish to consider a transfer of benefits, are thinking of paying additional contributions, or require information about your benefits, we can help.

To contact us, please call the Pension Helpline on extension 21397 (external: 0114 222 1397) or you can email us at

The pension schemes operated by the University are:

Eligibility for a pension scheme is determined by the Rules of each scheme but typically, staff on grades 1 to 5 are eligible for USPS and staff on grades 6 or higher are eligible for USS (although there are exceptions). If you are unsure which scheme you are eligible to join, please contact the Pensions Team.

In addition to helping members, the Pensions Team also provide technical support to the University to ensure that any current and future legislative changes are reviewed, assessed and implemented. This helps the University identify any changes that will impact on the pension schemes, its members and the pension scheme Trustees.

Important Information

Automatic Enrolment for Pensions

Since 1 April 2013, the University of Sheffield has been legally required to automatically enrol all eligible employees (who are not already members of a qualifying pension arrangement) into a pension scheme. Eligibility for automatic membership is determined by age and earnings, but even if you do not meet these criteria, you can still ask to opt into membership of the pension scheme appropriate to your grade.

In addition, the University is legally required to re-assess those who have previously opted out of membership once every three years following the original enrolment date of 1 April 2013 (e.g. on 1 April 2016, 1 April 2019 and so on). Therefore, if someone who has previously opted out then meets the age and earnings criteria, once re-assessed, they must again be re-enrolled into a qualifying pension scheme. This also includes USPS members who have chosen to contribute at the 2% (non-qualifying) level who must be re-enrolled by moving to a qualifying level of contribution (currently 4%).  Please note that there is no way to opt-out of membership in advance.

This legislation is part of a Government initiative to encourage more people to save for their retirement through increased pension scheme membership across the whole country. The University is obliged, under law, to put you into membership of a pension scheme if you meet the automatic enrolment, or re-enrolment, criteria. The University will write to any members of staff that are automatically enrolled to confirm that this has been done and what action, if any, you need to take. You do have the option to opt out of membership and information about how to do this will be included with the written enrolment information.  Please note that, under law, you cannot opt out of membership until after you have been officially enrolled in the scheme, meaning after the date you receive the enrolment letter.

Please note that if you are under 75, work or usually work in the UK, and earn over £10,000 a year (the amount set by the Government for the tax years 2014/15 to 2019-2020) we must by law automatically enrol you into a pension scheme. If you commence employment part way through a month with earnings in that month of less than £833.33, you will not be auto-enrolled. You will, however, be auto-enrolled the first time your monthly pay reaches or exceeds this amount (for many people, this will be the first complete month after commencing employment).

Please note that we are also required to maintain your membership of a scheme that meets certain government standards if your membership of a pension scheme ends and it is not because of something you do or fail to do. We must in this event put you into another scheme that meets Government standards straightaway.

Please note that the University "staged" for Auto-enrolment on 1 April 2013 and has subsequently carried out re-enrolment exercises effective from 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2019.  The next re-enrolment event is likely to take place on 1 April 2022.  If you are affected by this exercise, you will receive written confirmation in due course.

If you would like further information on how to join a pension scheme, or have queries about your existing scheme membership, please contact the Pensions Team.

Salary Sacrifice for Pensions

Both USS and USPS operate on a salary sacrifice basis. You will be automatically switched to salary sacrifice in your 4th month of membership unless you opt-out of salary sacrifice. For the majority of members, salary sacrifice reduces the amount of National Insurance contributions that you and your employer have to pay. However, it does mean that if you leave or opt-out of the scheme after the switch to salary sacrifice occurs, you will no longer be able to obtain a refund of contributions (where this would otherwise be available) in respect of salary sacrifice membership. Please go to our salary sacrifice pages for further information on how salary sacrifice works and how it may impact you.

Need Help or More Information?

Who to Contact
If you have any queries then please call the Pension Helpline on 21397 or email us at  Alternatively, please see the Pensions Team.

Postal Address: Pensions Team, Department of Finance, University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN

Location Address: Pensions Team, Finance Department, Floor 5 The Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN (please go to Reception on Level 1)

If you are visiting the Department of Finance in person then you can find out more about how to find us and our opening times.