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For employers: For investment documents relating to the SIP consultation visit our investment documents page.

Enhanced Opt Out

Get to know more about our Enhanced Opt Out option

Pension tax changes

The government has announced changes to pension tax allowances and charges, which may affect tax management measures that you’ve put in place or your savings decisions. Find out more in our pension tax update.

What is Enhanced Opt Out?

With Enhanced Opt Out (EOO), you stop building up retirement benefits, but keep your life and ill health cover. This could be useful if for example you're close to or over the Lifetime Allowance (LTA). Take a look at what happens when you die and ill health retirement for more information.

If you choose Enhanced Opt Out, you’ll pay 2.5% (rather than 6.1%) of your salary.

Things to keep in mind

There are a few things you should consider before you choose EOO:

  • You must keep EOO for at least a year. If you revoke your option within 12 months this will invalidate your EOO, you will need to be reinstated as a full member (including back payment of your contributions) with effect from the original election date. Please contact your employer if you wish to revoke your election.
  • Currently, you can only choose it once – if you cancel, after 12 months, it is not possible to reinstate it under the current USS rules.
  • You won't receive any further late retirement increases if you retire after the Normal Pension Age (NPA).

You should also bear in mind that ill health cover only provides extra benefits if you retire before age 66 (or once you've earned 40 years' pensionable service). If you've chosen EOO, you'll still get life cover up to when you die, but you won't get any extra ill health cover benefits.

Is EOO right for you?

We strongly recommend that you seek guidance or take independent financial advice before making any decisions in relation to your EOO options, you can visit the guidance and financial advice page for more information. You’ll find a range of resources to support your planning and you can also find information on how to access an independent financial adviser.

Applying for EOO

Complete the Election for Enhanced Opt Out form. This goes to your employer, who lets us know you want EOO.

EOO must start on the first of the month, but you’ll need to give us at least 28 days’ notice.

Need a hand?

Sign up for a free Focus on Pension Tax webinar to learn more about pension tax, including USS specific tax mitigation options.

Got a question?

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