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Your timeline to transferring out of USS

Here's a rough guide to how long the transfer out process takes

The transfer out process could be quicker or can take longer, depending on a variety of factors like how responsive the scheme you’re transferring to is.

Week 1

To start the process, download and complete a Transfer out option form. You can send this to us by post or email it to

Week 3

Envelope and letter

Receive your transfer out pack

Once we receive your Transfer out option form, we’ll send you a transfer out pack. This will detail the transfer value of your USS benefits and contain all the relevant forms you need.

Complete the forms

If you decide that transferring your benefits from USS to your new provider is right for you, you’ll need to complete the Member Discharge Form and email it back to us. If you’re transferring your Retirement Income Builder benefits, we need to receive this before the Guarantee Date of your transfer value (this date is outlined in your transfer out pack).

If your Retirement Income Builder (defined benefit) transfer value is more than £30,000 and you’re seeking to transfer your benefits to a defined contribution (DC) scheme, you’re required by law to take advice from a regulated financial adviser. You need to confirm you have received this advice on the form. You’ll also need your financial adviser to fill in an additional form which will be enclosed in your transfer out pack.

The Receiving Scheme Information form enclosed with your letter needs to be sent to your new pension provider, for them to fill in.

When considering transferring out, it pays to do your homework and check your financial adviser’s credentials and the pension you’re transferring to. Scammers target millions of people each year, especially those that are making changes to their pensions. If you’re a victim of a pension scam, you could lose your life savings and receive tax charges.

For information on how to spot a scam and stay one step ahead, visit The Pensions Regulator's website or take a look at ScamSmart.

Before making any decisions in relation to transferring your pension savings, we recommend you seek guidance and / or take financial advice on the options available to you. Visit the guidance and financial advice page, where there’s a range of resources to support your planning and information on how to find an independent financial adviser.

Weeks 4-12

Person with clipboard

We’ll wait to receive the forms from your new scheme

This can take several weeks. While we may receive your Member Discharge Forms quickly, there are often delays in obtaining the forms from your new pension provider and/or financial adviser. If we haven’t received anything from them after four weeks, we’ll contact them and update you at the same time. We’ll follow up with your new pension provider twice.

Week 15

We complete the transfer

Once we have all the forms, we need to do our due diligence, such as checking the scheme you’re transferring to and that your financial adviser is FCA registered. This is usually completed within three weeks, although it may take longer in some circumstances. When this is complete we’ll transfer the money to your new scheme and you and your new pension provider will receive a letter confirming the funds have been processed.