Building up your benefits - pre 1 October 2017 joiners

OSPS is a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme. This means that each scheme year (April to March) we give you a pension equal to a proportion of your pensionable salary. You also get a tax free lump sum which is three times the value of the pension. The proportion used is called the ‘accrual rate’ and depends on your cost plan.

Cost plans

You can choose between three cost plans; Lower, Standard and Higher. They all have different contribution rates and build up benefits at different rates.

For the current contribution rates, please see the How much does it cost section.

You can change your cost plan from any 1 April by sending form APP6 to the Pensions Office before 31 March.

Revaluation of benefits

The benefits you are given each year increase in line with inflation (up to a maximum of 8% of benefits build up before 1 April 2018, 5% thereafter). We then add these up to calculate your total benefits.

Benefits are revalued at the end of the scheme year after which you built them up. In other words benefits built up between April 2015 and March 2016 will be increased from April 2017.

Example of CARE build-up

At the end of year 1

YearSalaryCost PlanPension Built UpIncreaseTotal
1 £20,000 Lower £222 N/A £222

At the end of year 2

YearSalaryCost PlanPension Built UpIncreaseTotal
1 £20,000 Lower £222 £0 £222
2 £20,500 Standard £241 N/A £241

Total pension at end of year 2 is £463 per annum (£222 plus £241).

In this example, the member has chosen to move to the Standard cost plan at the start of year 2.

At the end of year 3

YearSalaryCost PlanPension Built UpIncreaseTotal
1 £20,000 Lower £222 £7 £222
2 £20,500 Standard £241 £0 £241
3 £21,000 Higher £262 N/A £262

Inflation is 3%. The increase on the year 1 pension is therefore 3% of £222, which is £7.

Total pension at end of year 3 is £732 per annum.

In this example, the member has chosen to move from the Standard cost plan to the Higher cost plan at the start of year 3.

At the end of year 4

YearSalaryCost PlanPension Built UpIncreaseTotal
1 £20,000 Lower £222 £5 £222
2 £20,500 Standard £241 £5 £246
3 £21,000 Higher £262 £0 £262
4 £22,000 Higher £275 N/A £275

Inflation is 2%. The increase on the year 1 pension is therefore 2% of £229, which is £5, and for the year 2 pension it is 2% of £241, which is £5.

The total pension at the end of year 4 is therefore £1,017. There would also be a lump sum of £3,051 or three times the pension.

Final salary benefits

If you were in the scheme before 1 January 2013, or have transferred in final salary benefits from a Public Sector Transfer Club scheme, you will have final salary benefits. Up to 31 March 2018, these go up in line with salary increases. From 1 April 2018, the final salary link is broken, and these benefits go up in line with inflation. Please see the Final Salary members section for more details.

Annual benefits statements

Every year we will send you a benefit statement giving you the current value of your benefits.