Enhanced Retirement Scheme

Enhanced Retirement Scheme

Learn about the Enhanced Retirement Scheme

Dear colleagues,

In recent months we have been open about the financial challenges facing the University and the broader Higher Education Sector.  As part of Principal’s End of Year Update, Professor Boyne explained that Court has endorsed proposals for a financial recovery plan with the final plan returning to Court for sign off at the end of February.

In his update Professor Boyne referred to the steps which have already been taken to help with the financial sustainability of the University and noted that further information would be publicised to the University in January.

We now write to advise that we are today opening an enhanced retirement scheme. The scheme is open to those who have over 5 years’ service at the University and who are eligible to access their pension under the terms of the USS or UASLAS pension scheme as they are over 55.

The enhanced retirement scheme is open for Expressions of Interest to receive your indicative figures from today until 16 February 2024.  On the basis of staff leaving the University by the latest date of 31 July 2024, the terms available are an enhanced retirement payment calculated on the basis of a payment up to the equivalent of 12 months’ salary where the individual has completed 5 years of service with the University.  This payment will include the appropriate payment to an individual for their statutory notice period.  

The terms of the scheme will allow a settlement to be taken in the following ways:


a.  Subject to the rules of the relevant pension scheme, it may in some cases be possible for staff over age 55 to take enhanced retirement and for the severance payment otherwise due to be used to fund pension benefits, either by funding an actuarial cost associated with the early release of the pension or by the purchase of additional pension.


b.   Where there is no requirement to fund pension benefits it may be taken as a lump sum voluntary severance payment. It is expected that, in accordance with current HM Revenue & Customs Regulations, the first £30,000 of any severance payment will not be subject to deductions for tax and national insurance.

Full details of the scheme and application process are available here

Staff who are not eligible for this scheme, but who meet the service eligibility criteria, or who do not wish to access their pension, may enquire about the possibility of Voluntary Severance on the same terms offered in this Enhanced Retirement scheme.  Discussion should take place with your line manager or HR Business Partner.  The needs and strategic objectives of the University have to be the focus as we navigate our way through this challenging period. For this reason a severance offer can only be discretionary. No member of staff has a right to severance and the decision-making process outlined in the scheme documentation will be final. There will be no right of appeal against a decision at any stage of the process.

We encourage anyone interested in the scheme to contact Human Resources in the first instance either by confidential email volscheme@abdn.ac.uk or by contacting the HR Partner for your area. Please be assured that all enquiries will be handled in strictest confidence.

Colleagues are also reminded of the other Flexible Retirement options which the USS scheme offers to members who seek to reduce their working hours and access part of their pension.  Details of these options are available on the USS website (www.uss.co.uk

Debbie Dyker

Director of People

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