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What happens when you die

Find out what happens to your pension once you’re no longer here

What happens to your benefits and savings?

Although this topic isn’t easy to talk about, it’s important to consider what will happen to your pension once you die.

As long as you’re paying in to USS, you get life cover to help take care of your loved ones once you’re gone. They may be able to get a lump sum of three times your salary – and a pension too.

If you’ve stopped paying in to USS or are already retired, your loved ones may still be eligible to the benefits that you’ve built up. The pension they may be entitled to won't be enhanced and their lump sum will be based on three times the pension you'd built up, rather than three times your salary.

To find out more, take a look at the factsheet that’s most relevant to you:

Tell us who you want to receive your benefits and savings

Make sure you let us know who you’d want to receive a lump sum that may be payable under life cover when you die. You can do this using the Expression of Wish form. Log in to My USS to complete online or download the Expression of Wish form to print and return to us.

And if you’re not married and you don’t have a civil partner, let us know if there’s someone who you’d want to be considered to receive the equivalent of a spouse’s pension when you die. Log in to My USS to complete online or download the Registration of potential dependant form to print and return to us.

Life changes and there may be times when you want to change your beneficiaries – so we recommend you update your forms at least every three years so we know they're up to date, even if your wishes haven’t changed.

Allocating part of your benefits to someone

You can also arrange to give up part of the pension you’ll be eligible to get on retirement from the Retirement Income Builder. So, your loved ones can receive an additional income when you die. This is known as allocation.

To find out more, see the Allocation factsheet. To apply for allocation, please complete the Allocation application form.

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