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Your pension is changing

Find out what these changes mean to you if you earn above £59,883.65

Notice of changes to USS

The way you build up benefits in the Retirement Income Builder and savings in the Investment Builder is changing from 1 April 2022.

The changes follow recommendations from the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) about how benefits should change in the future and the statutory employer consultation with affected members and representatives on the proposed changes. The JNC’s recommendations have now been approved by the trustee board. It’s important you understand how they’ll affect your USS pension in the future.

Here we’ll cover the changes at a glance, the changes in more detail, webinars to help you get to grips with the changes and what you need to do next.

Summary of the key changes at a glance, and what’s not changing

  • Changes that will affect you immediately

    There’s a lot to understand, so here’s a quick summary of the changes that will affect you immediately.

    The salary threshold is reducing, so you’ll build up more savings in the Investment Builder – the defined contribution part of USS, and less in the Retirement Income Builder – the defined benefit part of USS.

    You might want to review your investment decisions and Target Retirement Age in My USS before the changes take effect on 1 April.

    The accrual rate in the Retirement Income Builder, the defined benefit part of USS, is reducing. This means you’ll build up fewer benefits each year.

    You might want to think about how you use your Retirement Income Builder benefits and Investment Builder savings together to achieve your retirement goals.

  • Other key changes

    Other changes will affect how your Retirement Income Builder benefits increase before and after you retire in the future, and what benefits members that leave USS with less than two years' service receive.

    More details on all of the changes, and what they might mean for you, are listed below, along with some actions you might want to take and some useful resources.

    What’s not changing

    Your contribution rate will remain at 9.8%, and there are no changes to Normal Pension Age. You’ll also still receive life cover and other benefits for loved ones, and will still be entitled to ill health cover. And benefits built up before 1 April 2022 will remain unchanged.

    Retirement Income Builder benefits already built up are guaranteed and protected by law. Investment Builder savings remain invested and could go up or down in value depending on how investments perform.

The changes in detail

The salary threshold will reduce to £40,000 from 1 April 2022.

The accrual rate in the Retirement Income Builder will decrease to 1/85 of salary up to the salary threshold from 1 April 2022.

The salary threshold will continue to rise annually after 1 April 2022 in line with official pensions, but will be subject to a cap of 2.5%.

The cap that applies to the level of pre and post retirement increases on benefits you’ll build up in the Retirement Income Builder from 1 April 2022 is changing.

Boost to short-term members’ benefits.

What you need to do

Make sure you’re ready for 1 April.

  • Log in or register for My USS to:
    • See your Retirement Income Builder benefits and Investment Builder savings side by side.
    • Visit the Investment Builder section to review your investment choices and make sure your Target Retirement Age (TRA) is right for you. Updating your TRA is important so we know when to move your investments if we’re managing them for you.
    • While you're there, sign up to our member news and updates so we can send you more on understanding your pension and financial planning.
  • Take a look at the modeller on the employer consultation website to get an idea of what your USS benefits might look like in the future. The Benefit Illustrator will be updated in April, so you’ll be able to get an idea of what your benefits might look like on our website.

This notice is issued pursuant to The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013. It does not explain all situations or eventualities and does not represent any promise or guarantee as to the amount of benefit that may be received and should not be relied upon to make a decision in relation to your USS benefits. If there is any difference between this notice and the USS trust deed and rules, then the latter shall prevail.