PensionSMART is a salary sacrifice scheme which allows both the College and its staff to make savings in the amount of National Insurance contributions they pay. As a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) or the Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL) you are automatically enrolled into this scheme.

Participating in PensionSMART

By paying into a pension scheme through  PensionSMART, you agree to give up an amount of your contractual gross pay equal to your standard member pensions’ contribution.  In return the College will increase its employer contribution by a corresponding amount.  This is known as a “salary sacrifice” or "salary exchange".

The benefits

As your salary will be reduced by the amount of your pension contribution, you will pay lower National Insurance contributions than you would otherwise and your take home pay will be slightly higher as a result.

The College will also benefit as there will be a reduction in the employer's National Insurance contributions. These savings will be used directly to support the College’s academic mission.

You can see what impact of PensionSMART would be on your gross salary, and the saving you and the College would make in National Insurance Contributions, by using the PensionSMART Ready Reckoner. You can download the Ready Reckoner below.

Opting out

If you are a new member of staff you can opt-out of PensionSMART by indicating that you want to do so in Section G of the “Employee Starter Checklist”.

If you have already started and use PensionSMART and you now wish to opt-out, you should send an email to the HR Staff Hub ( instructing them that you want to do so.  However, you may only opt-out with effect from 1 December each year, unless you meet one of the “lifestyle events”. If you are not requesting the opt-out in November of any given year you will need to confirm in your instruction which of the life events that you meet. 

Additional important information

Please read these documents carefully: PensionSMART-Supplementary-terms-and-conditions-of-employment (pdf) -for full details of the contractual changes  

PensionSMART is based on current taxation and National Insurance law and practice. If these change, or if there is no longer a benefit in participating in this arrangement, the College reserves the right to withdraw PensionSMART, but would always do so in a way that is not detrimental to your interests.

If you have any questions not covered in Frequently Asked Questions, please contact