Reporter 424, 5 October 1998


To: Members of the Academic and Academic-related staff

Premature Retirement and Mobility Incentive Schemes, 1998/99

Consideration has now been given to the principles that will apply in the year

1 August 1998 - 31 July 1999 to premature retirement and voluntary severance.

Applications are now invited for early retirement under the premature retirement scheme (PRT) or voluntary severance under the Mobility Incentive Scheme (MIS) on the following terms:-

1. Premature Retirement Terms (PRT)

(i) Applicants must hold a permanent superannuable post financed from HEFCE funds and must be aged 50 or over at the proposed date of retirement.

(ii) Applicants must not have resigned or have been offered or accepted a post elsewhere at the time of application.

(iii) Applicants must have completed five years of pensionable service recognised by USS.

(iv) Applications will only be approved when they are judged to be in the University`s managerial interest.

(v) Staff granted early retirement will be required to relinquish their posts on or before 31 July 1999.

(vi) The extra pensionable service which may be purchased by the University to enhance the early retirement benefits of a member of staff will be up to a maximum of five years, the actual number of years depending on the age or pensionable service of the individual concerned or the University`s judgement of its managerial interest.

(vii)Academic and other teaching staff in academic departments who are retiring early may, in appropriate cases, be offered part-time re-engagement for a fixed period of no more than three years and normally in respect of work which is being phased out. Part-time re-engagement is not available to Academic-related staff.

The details of any such offer will be particular to each case but, for those in the standard grades for academic staff, the annual rate of remuneration will be a proportion (between10 and 30 percent) of the maximum of the Lecturer B scale. Arrangements for office space, and for access to the Library and computer facilities will be determined in individual cases by the Head of the Resource Centre. Before applying for premature retirement, the member of staff is advised to acquaint him/herself with the arrangements currently in force for the issuing of car parking permits to retired members of staff, it being likely that he/she will not remain eligible for a permit. Staff re-engaged following premature retirement are not eligible for promotion or exceptional salary progression, the annual rate of their remuneration being determined when the offer is made. The rate then agreed is, however, increased in line with national salary increases.

(viii) Enhancement of benefits will be through the purchase of extra pensionable service only, although, where agreed, part-time re-engagement may be offered (see vii above); neither ex gratia nor redundancy payments will be payable;

(ix) USS pensions paid to staff under the age of 55 are not index-linked, although retrospective indexation is applied once the individual reaches age 55.

(x) If a national pay increase is agreed which would apply retrospectively to any period of employment prior to early retirement, back pay will be paid and the pension recalculated accordingly.

2. Mobility Incentive Scheme (MIS)

(i) Members of staff who are in permanent, University-funded posts and who are below the age of 50 may apply for severance under MIS.

(ii) Applicants must have completed a minimum of three years’ service with the University.

(iii) Applicants who are granted MIS will receive a lump sum which will be decided on an individual basis. This will in no case exceed, and may well be lower than, a guideline figure of two years` net pay* and will include any redundancy payment. It will be a round figure which reflects the judgement of managerial interest informed by the resource centre`s staffing strategy. The sum offered will, therefore, not be negotiable, and will not be modified in accordance with any back-dated pay increase or pay increase agreed after the offer is made. MIS lump sums are tax-free up to £30,000,

but any excess over this amount will be subject to Income Tax.

*N.B. “Net pay” is defined as average take-home pay, plus any amounts deducted from gross pay on a voluntary basis, e.g. Trade Union subscriptions, parking permit charges, pension AVCs, etc.

(iv) Applicants must have not have resigned or accepted a post elsewhere at the time of application;

(v) Staff granted severance under this scheme will be required to relinquish their posts by 31 July 1999.

(vi) Staff leaving under MIS will not normally be re-engaged by the University in any capacity. However, in certain circumstances, (e.g. where the individual possesses specialist skills or experience), applications for advertised posts within the University may be accepted, but only after a period of not less than two years has elapsed since the original leaving date.

3. Application Procedure

(i) Members of staff seeking general advice about whether their applications for either early retirement or severance under MIS are likely to be regarded as being in the managerial interest should consult their Head of Department in the first instance.

(ii) Members of staff wishing to apply for PRT or MIS should contact the Pensions Manager (Ext. 4138) who will provide them with an application form. Estimates of the enhanced pension benefits payable under PRT will also be provided. Estimates of MIS payments cannot be provided.

(iii) Completed application forms should be returned to the Pensions Manager, who will then arrange for the application to be considered by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff

in the light of comments received from the Head of Resource Centre/Department.

(iv) Members of staff who submit a formal application must advise their Head of Department when they actually apply.

(iv) Members of staff whose applications are approved will receive a formal written offer of PRT/MIS. Only an offer made by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff or the Director of Human Resources or his nominee on the authority of the University Council and ` accepted by the member of staff will be binding. Advice given in good faith by any officer of the University cannot be construed as constituting an offer.

(v) All applications to retire early or voluntarily sever employment with the University under the above terms should be sent to the Pensions Manger by Friday, 26 February 1999.

(vi) Members of staff in membership of FSSU or NHSPS who wish to enquire about early retirement should contact the Pensions Manager (extension 4138) for advice about their particular circumstances.

September 1998

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