31 October 2011

USPS Flexible Retirement Plan to be implemented 1 December 2011

Following the most recent series of meetings with trade union colleagues from Unite and UNISON, the new USPS Flexible Retirement Plan will be launched for all staff on Grades 1 to 5 with effect from 1 December 2011. An outline of the scheme design can be found on the USPS Review website or via the following link: http://www.shef.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.52459!/file/Key_features_of_USPS_FRP.pdf

In launching the scheme from 1 December 2011 it is the aim of the University to enable those staff on Grades 1 to 5 who are not currently a member of the pension scheme to join and select from the range of contribution rates and benefit levels in the USPS Flexible Retirement Plan. Almost half of all current staff on Grades 1 to 5 at the University are not members of the pension scheme – nearly 900 people. Staff already contributing to USPS will also be able to join the scheme, and can opt for one of the preferential benefit levels offered exclusively to current members.

The University had put forward a package of additional transitional benefits for all existing members, which regrettably were rejected by both trade unions. However both parties remain committed to finding a practical solution and as such have agreed to continue to discuss the detail of these transitional arrangements further. This is in light of a further, extended transitional offer which was made by the University on 31 October 2011.

Further detailed communications will follow in the near future which will outline the steps needed ahead of the new scheme launching on 1 December 2011. Road shows will also be held during November at which the scheme design will be explained and staff will be able to answer questions about it. The dates of these sessions will be advertised separately.

In the meantime staff can visit the USPS Review web pages at www.sheffield.ac.uk/uspsreview. Queries can be directed to the USPS Review Project Team at uspsreview@sheffield.ac.uk or on ext 24493.