Annual member statement 2017

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  • I have past service with USS. Is this shown on my statement?

    Where there has been a break in service, any benefits built up in the past are called deferred benefits. These are included in your statement, under ‘Pension earned to 31 March 2016’ (Page 4).

  • Why haven’t I received a statement?

    The statements were calculated on 31 March 2017. You won’t get a statement if you weren’t an active member at that date.

    For technical reasons, when they were printed in January, USS wasn’t able to produce a statement for every member. If you were expecting a statement but haven’t yet received one, please speak to the usual pensions contact at your workplace in the first instance. Your workplace pensions contact will be able to tell you whether or not a statement was produced for you.

  • I have misplaced/not received my statement. Where can I get another copy?

    We’re preparing to make digital copies of member statements available through My USS. As soon as they’re available we’ll update this FAQ. Please check back soon.

  • Information in the statement is incorrect or missing. How can I change this?

    If you’d like to update your personal details or query any of the figures referred to in your annual member statement, please get in touch with your employer’s USS pensions contact in the first instance.

    Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to someone at USS, please contact USS’s Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 (lines are open 9am - 5pm Monday – Friday) or you can write to us at Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, Royal Liver Building, Liverpool L3 1PY.

  • Why is the contribution I paid recently not included?

    The statement is a valuation of your benefits up to and including 31 March 2017 only.

  • How can I find up to date information on my benefits?

    For a projection of your benefits to retirement age or to see how retiring earlier/later might affect your benefits, log in to the USS benefit illustrator, with your full USS member number and National Insurance number. Log in to My USS, to see the most recent USS Investment Builder values.

  • How much does my employer pay into the Scheme?

    Your employer currently pays a monthly contribution equal to 18% of your salary into the scheme, while you pay 8%. The USS Investment Builder is an optional section that you can join (if you earn more than the salary threshold, £55,550 for 2017/18, you join automatically), into which you can pay additional 1% contributions (including the match).

  • What do I need to declare on my tax return?

    This will depend on numerous factors, such as the rate of income tax you pay, any tax relief to which you’re entitled and whether you’ve exceeded the annual allowance. For more information on pensions tax, visit the tax area or go to gov.uk/tax-on-pension.

  • I’ve exceed my annual allowance – how can I use Scheme Pays? What’s the deadline for Voluntary Scheme Pays?

    With Scheme Pays, you can pay an annual allowance charge direct to HMRC from your USS benefits.

    If you apply for Scheme Pays, it will be funded through your USS Investment Builder pot in the first instance. If those funds are insufficient, a pension reduction will be applied to your benefits in the USS Retirement Income Builder. Should you incur an annual allowance tax charge, you should think carefully about the option to use Scheme Pays. To find out more, check the deadline and see terms and conditions, go to our factsheets and member guides and scroll down to Tax factsheets.

  • I have received a separate Annual Allowance Statement and this differs from the Annual Allowance information contained within the annual member statement? Which is correct?

    If you received a separate Annual Allowance Statement after 1 December 2017, please use the information contained within this statement as this is based on the most up to date data that we hold for you, and it supersedes the information we would have used within the annual member statement.

  • What Annual Allowance information does my statement show?

    Your statement shows the Annual Allowance value of the benefits you earned for the tax year ended 5 April 2017. If you exceeded your 2016/17 Annual Allowance, your statement also shows the value of your benefits for the previous three years.

  • My Target Retirement Age is incorrect, how do I change it?

    You can do this if you’ve chosen the Do it For Me option: Go to the ‘manage my investments form’ in My USS. Pick the option that your Target Retirement Age (TRA) applies to (you can pick more than one). Select ‘do it for me’. Then, you’ll see a drop down that allows you to select a new Target Retirement Age.

  • I don’t understand what my Target Retirement Age is.

    Your Target Retirement Age is the age at which you intend to access the benefits from your USS Investment Builder. It may be different from your normal pension age (currently 65). If you’ve chosen one of the lifestyle options, you’ll need to select your TRA and review it regularly to make sure it’s realistic for your circumstances. If you don’t set a TRA, the default TRA will be your normal pension age.

    It’s important that you carefully consider the age you intend to retire and take your benefits from the scheme. You should also check that USS has the right TRA for you. If not, the switching may start too early and you might miss out on potential investment gains or, it could start too late, so you’re not in the right investments when you’re ready to take your money – as you approach your TRA, in the default fund, your pot transitions to lower risk investments, ensuring it is as secure as possible for you. You can set a different TRA at any time through My USS. If you can’t access My USS, call our Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 and we can send a form to you for completion. Please note that you can change your TRA at any time and it does not lock you into taking your savings at a particular time. Your TRA will not be shared with your employer.

  • I have other benefits in USS from some past service are they included in the figures?

    If you’ve been paying contributions dating back to the former final salary and career revalued benefits sections of the scheme (pre- 31 March 2016), the benefits from these sections are included in the figures shown on your annual member statement.

  • The statement is not showing that I have completed an expression of wish but I know I have?

    We recommend that you complete an Expression of Wish every three years. You can download or print off the form here.

  • Are benefits from both my jobs included?

    Yes. If you have more than one job that entitles you to membership, the benefits from both will be combined.

  • Are my previous USS benefits included or not?

    Your annual member statement includes the value of all the benefits built up in USS to 31 March 2017. This includes any transfers-in and voluntary contributions you may have made into the USS Retirement Income Builder and all investments into the USS Investment Builder.

  • What information can I find on My USS?

    My USS can be used by active members (members currently paying into the scheme) to manage their USS Investment Builder membership, so if you earn over the salary threshold (£55,550 for 2017/2018), have made additional contributions to USS, including the match and/or have recently transferred in to USS from another pension scheme, you can manage these contributions in My USS.

    If you don’t earn over the salary threshold you can still make additional contributions, including the match, to the USS Investment Builder by registering with My USS.

    In My USS you can:

    • Update your investment choices and your Target Retirement Age;
    • Review the impact of your choices using the additional contributions modeller;
    • Update your security details, including your password and pin.

    You will also find a digital version of your annual member statement in your ‘My documents’ section of My USS which will be available end of January.

  • What benefits are used to determine my lifetime allowance value?

    Your lifetime allowance value is derived from your USS Retirement Income Builder benefits, plus the value of your USS Investment Builder, both taken as at 31 March 2017. However, it does not include the value of your Prudential MPAVC fund (if applicable). You can find out the value of your Prudential AVCs by contacting Prudential direct on 0800 012 1439.

    Please note that whilst your annual member statement states that your lifetime allowance is based only on your USS Retirement Income Builder benefits, the figure quoted in the statement does include the value of your USS Investment Builder.

  • Why is the estimated value of my USS Investment Builder at retirement different than the value shown in my annual member statement?

    If you have funds in the USS Investment Builder, your annual member statement will include a projection of your USS Investment Builder fund value at retirement, known as a Statutory Money Purchase Illustration (SMPI). The value shown in the USS benefit illustrator may be different to that shown in your statement, for a number of reasons:

    • Both the illustrator and the annual member statements make assumptions about the returns in the future. These assumptions can be influenced by a number of factors. The assumptions used in your annual member statement projections are required by law and are set in order to comply with the guidelines for SMPIs set out by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in their Actuarial Standards Technical Memorandum 1 – more detail on these can be found here. The projections in the USS benefit illustrator provide you with greater flexibility to select your own assumptions such as your level of salary growth each year and future returns you may experience. These can be varied to allow you to consider different scenarios and may be different than those used in your annual benefit statement.
    • The annual member statement will have projected your USS Investment Builder to your selected Target Retirement Age. In the USS benefit illustrator you can set your retirement age to any value between ages 55 and 75. The illustrator’s default retirement age is 65.
    • If you chose the “Do it for me” investment option (or didn’t make any investment choice), the projection in your annual member statement assumes your investments will change automatically as you approach your Target Retirement Age, in line with the automatic switches for de-risking that are built into these options. The USS benefit illustrator allows you to select your own assumptions, and no adjustment is made for automatic switches.
    • The initial fund values used in either projection will be as at different dates. The projections in your annual member statement are based initially on your USS Investment Builder as at 31 March 2017, whereas the USS benefit illustrator uses the most current value available (as entered by you on the “your details” section). The difference will be particularly noticeable if there have been any major changes in your USS Investment Builder since 31 March 2017, such as a transfer in of your Prudential MPAVC funds.
    • Finally, please note that projections of your USS Investment Builder will always be approximate in nature. Even a small change in any of the points above, or in the underlying calculations, can result in a large difference in the value of your USS Investment Builder at retirement. Predicting future investment growth is complex, and there’s no guarantee that investments will perform as predicted. The projection in your member statement represents our best estimate, based on what we currently know about how your investments might grow up to your Target Retirement Age, whereas the USS benefit illustrator allows you to estimate your benefits under different scenarios and at different retirement ages.
  • Why does my annual member statement give me different a projection for my retirement income than other illustrations, such as the USS benefit illustrator?

    The USS benefit illustrator, your annual member statement, and any other modelling tools you may use will all show you different levels of retirement benefits.

    This is because they use different assumptions about the future. It doesn’t mean any of these projections are wrong: just that they look at factors, such as how well your investments will perform, inflation, and how your salary may change between now and your retirement in different ways.

    The values in your annual member statement and the pre-populated data in the USS benefit illustrator should be the same because they show your benefits and investment savings as at 31 March 2017. The projections will differ because:

    Your annual member statement

    • projects USS Investment Builder savings;
    • uses assumptions and the approach set out in the Financial Reporting Council’s guidelines and the trustee's view of expected investment returns consistent with these;
    • shows your USS Investment Builder projection to your target retirement age; and
    • allows for ‘lifestyling’ (where the funds in which your savings are invested become lower risk, as you approach retirement) where relevant.

    View the assumptions used in your annual member statement.

    The USS benefit illustrator

    • projects your USS Retirement Income Builder and USS Investment Builder benefits to age 65 by default;
    • allows you to change some assumptions; and
    • doesn’t apply lifestyling.

    View the default assumptions used in the USS benefit illustrator.

starAssumptions and further information

If you’re paying contributions into the USS Investment Builder, your annual member statement included a projection as to what these benefits might be worth when you retire.

Find out more about the assumptions we use to make this projection, including the investment growth assumptions and charges.

starRelated information
starFactsheets and forms