Further information and resources for members

Thinking about retirement

It pays to be ready for your retirement. You have a number of options when you reach retirement and when you retire can affect how you receive your pension, so it’s important to carefully consider your options. Read our steps to retirement and use the USS retirement decision tree, to make sure you’re on track for the retirement you want.

Take control of your retirement planning with My USS

My USS is the online service for managing your pension via a personalised pensions dashboard. Log in or register now to:

  • See the defined benefits you've built up in the USS Retirement Income Builder
  • View and manage any USS Investment Builder savings
  • Review your USS Investment Builder fund choices and a performance comparison of the USS funds
  • Choose the USS Investment Builder funds and investment approach that are right for you
  • Top up your retirement savings with additional contributions
  • Transfer savings from other pension schemes to USS
  • Access forms to update things like your Expression of Wish, to nominate who will receive any lump sum payment in the event of your death.

How it works

USS Retirement Income Builder

All members automatically join the USS Retirement Income Builder. This provides you with an income when you retire based on how long you’ve been a member of USS and your salary, up to an annual threshold (£55,550 for 2017/2018), any contributions you make over the salary threshold will be invested in the USS Investment Builder.

USS Investment Builder

All members, regardless of how much they earn, have the option to join the USS Investment Builder, in addition to the USS Retirement Income Builder. This is a flexible way to enhance your retirement savings. All contributions are invested and at retirement you can use the value to supplement your income from the USS Retirement Income Builder.

Visit the How USS works page to find out about the benefits of the USS Retirement Income Builder and USS Investment Builder.

Pension tax

Visit our pension tax page, for information about the limits on the pensions benefits you can build up before you may incur a tax charge, find out how these limits work and the options available to help you to manage your pensions tax.

USS benefit illustrator

The USS benefit illustrator gives you an up-to-date view of your retirement savings. It will show you the impact of:

  • Taking your benefits at different ages; and
  • Contributing more.

Pension increases

Standard USS pension increases are applied to the benefits you have in the USS Retirement Income Builder, read the guide to USS for more information on how they work.

Transferring to USS

If you have pension benefits with another scheme, you may be able to transfer these to USS. View a step-by-step guide to transferring to USS.

Bereavement benefits

USS gives you peace of mind: if you were to die whilst still contributing to USS, your beneficiaries could receive a range of USS benefits. We’ve produced a ‘Bereavement benefits factsheet’ that sets out what your beneficiaries might receive in the event that you die whilst paying in to USS.

Expression of Wish form

Your Expression of Wish form lets us know who you would like any bereavement benefits to be paid to when you die. If you’ve never completed one or need to update your form, complete a new Expression of Wish form today and let us know your wishes.

Registration of potential dependant form

If you’re not married, nor part of a registered civil partnership, you should complete a Registration of potential dependant form. This will let us know about anyone who is financially dependent upon you, who could potentially receive the equivalent of the husband/wife/civil partner/dependent partner pension if you die.

Further reading and resources

Our member resources area has a number of tools, including animated videos, retirement modellers and guides to help you plan for retirement. You can also keep up-to-date on everything retirement related with our pension articles.

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