6 to 12 months before your retirement date
By now, you should have used our Retirement Planning Tool and have an idea of when you want to retire and how. You’ve considered your options for taking your benefits from the Retirement Income Builder and savings from the Investment Builder, if you have these too. You’ve also thought about taking financial advice if you aren’t sure what’s right for you. You can request a provisional retirement quote directly from us or through your employer to understand what your benefits might be. This can also help you plan.
Two parts to your pension – visit how your pension works for more information on the Retirement Income Builder and the Investment Builder.
3 to 6 months before
To kick-off the process, contact your employer – you’ll need to agree your retirement date with them. They’ll then submit a retirement form to us on your behalf.
If you’re flexibly retiring, it’s important to speak to your employer sooner rather than later, as they must submit the form at least two months before your retirement date.
5 working days after your employer submits the retirement form
Once we receive the form from your employer, we’ll send your retirement quote back to them – this will outline your benefits and any savings, as well as your options.
There’ll be a Notification of member’s retirement form with your quote that you’ll need to complete yourself, once you know how you want to take your benefits and any savings you might have.
6 to 8 weeks before
Once you’ve considered your options and you know how you want to take your benefits, return your completed form to your employer at least 6 weeks before your retirement date.
The earlier you return it the better – this gives us plenty of time to make sure you get your benefit payments on time. Payment of your benefits might be delayed if you return it any later.
If you’re taking any Investment Builder savings too, aim to get your form in as soon as possible – we recommend at least 8 weeks before. We’ll need to disinvest your savings and will need a little more time to process this.
Once we receive your form
We review this to make sure we have all the information we need. We’ll be in touch directly if we have any queries. If we have all the information we need, you’ll receive a confirmation email within a few days of sending your form.
Two weeks before
You’ll receive a letter confirming your benefits within the two weeks before your retirement date (or later if your form wasn’t returned on time).
If you’re taking Investment Builder savings too, we’ll start disinvesting your savings at the start of the month you’re retiring (or later if your form wasn’t returned on time). We need a little more time to process these, so we want to make sure they’re ready. Once this is complete, we’ll process your benefits in the Retirement Income Builder too.
The first working day after
You’ll receive your one-off, tax-free (up to a limit) lump sum, if you’ve chosen to take this, straight into your bank account. This could be later, if your form wasn’t returned on time.
After your retirement date
You’ll receive your first pension payment on the 21st day of the month following the month that you retire, and each month after that. If this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, it’ll be paid on the working day before.
You’ll then receive a letter from us each year outlining your pension increase in line with inflation. Look out for In Touch too, our annual newsletter for retired members, to keep up to date on the latest USS news and other useful articles.