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Your pension after leaving

Everything you need to know about your benefits and savings after leaving

What happens to your benefits and savings?

The benefits you’ve built up so far in the Retirement Income Builder will always belong to you. And they’ll carry on going up in line with official pensions which means the value is protected.

When you come to take your benefits they’ll be based on different things, depending on your qualifying service. This means the amount of time you were building your pension with us – plus any time you were paying in to another pension (not including a personal pension) that you transferred to us.

If you have savings in the Investment Builder, these will remain invested until you decide to take them.

You need to have left the role where you’ve been building up your USS pension before you can take it.

How long have you been paying in to USS?

Less than two years

You must take your Retirement Income Builder benefits at the Normal Pension Age (NPA).

The amount you paid in (including any amount your employer paid in for you under salary sacrifice, but excluding The Match).

You’ll also get a one-off cash lump sum (which is tax-free up to a certain limit) of three times the annual rate of your pension.

These will remain invested until you’re ready to take them.

You can carry on managing your investments in My USS, but you can’t pay any more in.

Visit taking your benefits and savings for more information.

More than two years

From age 55 (rising to 57 in 2028) – but your monthly pension payments will be reduced to make up for it being paid out earlier than the Normal Pension Age (NPA).

You must take your Retirement Income Builder benefits by the NPA. Your monthly pension won’t be reduced if it’s taken at this age.

For more on how your benefits are calculated if you retire early, visit our factors page.

For anything you built up before 31 March 2016: Any Final Salary or Career Revalued Benefits (CRB) you’d built up.

And everything after 31 March 2016: The amount of benefits you’ve built up in the Retirement Income Builder. For more on how you build these benefits, see what you'll get as a member.

You’ll also get a one-off cash lump sum (which is tax-free up to a certain limit) of three times the annual rate of your pension.

You can see what you’ve built up in My USS.

These will remain invested until you’re ready to take them.

You can carry on managing your investments in My USS, but you can’t pay any more in.

Visit taking your benefits and savings for more information.

Working past the Normal Pension Age  (NPA)

If you work past the NPA and then leave your job, you’ll need to start taking your pension right away.

Your benefits are protected against inflation

Even when you stop paying in, your pension and one-off cash lump sum will still increase every April. This is based on increases in official pensions, which currently go up in line with inflation. This is from the date you stop paying in until the date you start taking your pension and is subject to USS standard pension increase limits.

Just so you know, we won’t lower your benefits if inflation is less than zero.

Once you leave, you can use the Deferred Pension Increase Modeller to estimate this inflation and the value of your benefits when you reach the Normal Pension Age.

Some benefits other than your pension will change

Once you leave, some of your benefits will change:

  • if you have to retire because of ill health, you’ll only get the pension and lump sum you’ve built up without any enhancements
  • if you die (and have been paying in for two or more years), the pension for your spouse or child won’t be enhanced and your life cover will be based on three times the pension you’ve built up, rather than three times your salary
  • contributions from your employer will stop.

Visit thinking of leaving and read I'm just not sure I want to carry on building my pension with USS for more information.

Or take a look at what you’ll get as a member for a quick look at what you get when paying in.

Got a question?

Document download

  • Notification of change in details form docx (36kb)
  • Notification of change in details form pdf (137kb)