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Guidance and financial advice

Find out who you can speak to if you need a hand with your pension

Helping you to make the decisions that are right for you, now and in the future 

Whether your retirement’s a long way off or just around the corner, or even if you’re already retired, as a USS member you can get support and expert help with your financial planning. 

Guidance 

Guidance covers the broad range of information and support that’s available to help you make informed decisions about your USS pension.

It’s not financial advice and won’t give you any recommendations to take a specific course of action, but it will help paint a clear picture of where you are now and the steps you might take to get to where you want to be.

Guidance webinars 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to your USS pension, so you have access to a programme of webinars provided by Mercer that are designed to help you understand more about USS and the benefits you get from being a member.

The webinars are free and aim to be relevant to all USS members. They cover a range of different topics, so you can take part in the webinars that interest you.

See the webinars that are coming up, access the webinar library, and register for free.

Other sources of guidance 

Our website’s full of useful information and tools to help you make the decisions that are right for you now and in the future.

Your employer may also provide extra help, and further support is available from places like the Money and Pensions Service.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has been set up by the government to bring together a range of guidance services:

  • Pension Wise 
  • The Pensions Advisory Service
  • And; Money Advice Service

All three are impartial, free to use and provide support and guidance on a range of money and pensions issues. 

Visit maps.org.uk to find out more.

Financial advice

If you need something more specific than guidance, financial advice is also available. This is where a financial adviser regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority takes a deep dive into your circumstances, financial needs and aspirations, and then provides bespoke advice and recommendations.

If you feel you need additional support, you may wish to obtain financial advice. There are a number of scenarios where you might get financial advice, such as if you are starting to think about your retirement, or if you want pension tax planning advice to cover Lifetime Allowance or Annual Allowance. You may also want financial advice to help you build wealth, manage expenses, or decide how to pass on wealth to loved ones. Financial advice is different to guidance. Advice gives tailored recommendations specific to you to ensure that the best option, or combination of options, is recommended to meet your individual requirements.

How to find a financial adviser

If financial advice sounds like something you’re interested in, Mercer can assist in a variety of ways. It doesn’t just have to be about your pension; you can get advice on any aspect of financial planning. You can, of course, obtain financial guidance or advice from your usual financial adviser (if you have one) or other appropriately qualified and authorised firm.

Find out more about Mercer’s advice services.

All advisers are different, so it’s important to remember that you should shop around to find an adviser that is right for you. You can use the Money Advice Service’s adviser directory to find a list of regulated financial advisers, questions to ask them and a guide to their fees.

Whichever financial adviser you choose, you should make sure they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You will be charged if you decide to take financial advice, but all costs should be made clear to you before you receive any advice.

Important information

Any advice or guidance services you decide to receive from Mercer Limited “Mercer” are not the responsibility of USS.

USS’s role is limited to signposting members to independent third-party services provided by Mercer. USS will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with your use of any of the services provided by Mercer and/or your failure to access the services (including any guidance, advice or recommendation that Mercer may give you). USS are also not in any way responsible for the content of Mercer’s website that is linked to above.

If you decide to use Mercer, you can use the details on this website to contact them. You are of course also free to use any other financial adviser in the market. Whichever financial adviser you choose, you will need to enter into a separate agreement with them.

Before using the guidance and/or advice services you should consider if they are appropriate for your needs and you should look at the Other sources of guidance outlined above. As we explain above, there is no obligation for you to use the services provided by Mercer. You can obtain financial guidance or advice from your usual financial adviser (if you have one) or other appropriately qualified and authorised firm.

USS may withdraw or suspend any of the links to, or services provided by, Mercer at any time without prior warning to members and users of these services.

Important terms

This publication is for general guidance only. For a glossary of our terms please see more information on our key names and important information page.

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