Frequently asked questions

Q. I have misplaced my statement. Where can I get another copy?

A. Once all statements have been issued later in the year, we will upload a PDF copy of them on to - Login My USS. Statements can then be accessed online by registering and/or logging into My USS. When you have logged in, select ‘My documents’ to view and download your latest statement to 31 March 2019.

Q. How do I register for My USS?

A. To register for My USS you will need your USS member number (you can find this on your statement), Your National Insurance number, and an email address (we recommend you use a personal one). With this information, you can create a password and security question to create your account on My USS.

Q. I have not received my statement. What do I do?

A. There could be several reasons why you may not have received a statement at the same time as your colleagues. If you haven’t received your Annual Member Statement, please check with your employer in the first instance.

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

A. 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 pension contact in the first instance.

Alternatively, you can contact us via our online contact form, or you can contact the Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 (lines are open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday). You can also write to us at Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, Royal Liver Building, Liverpool, L3 1PY.

Q. Why are contributions to my USS Retirement Income Builder pension not listed?

A. Contributions paid to the USS Retirement Income Builder are not shown in your statement or My USS. This is because the USS Retirement Income Builder benefits are calculated based on your length of service, pensionable salary and scheme accrual rate, rather than the investment of contributions.

Q. Why is the contribution I paid recently not included?

A. The statement is a valuation of your benefits up to and including 31 March 2019 only. You will be able to see your contribution transaction history for additional voluntary contributions, transfers into the scheme, and any regular contributions above the salary threshold (£58,589.70 for 2019/20) by logging in to My USS, the online service for managing your USS Investment Builder pot.

Q. How can I find up-to-date information on my benefits?

A. For a projection of your benefits to retirement age or to see how retiring earlier or later might affect your benefits, log in to the USS benefit illustrator, with your USS member number and National Insurance number. Your USS member number can be found on your statement.

If you have not received your statement, you can still use the USS benefit illustrator Non-login version and manually input your pension information to see a projection of your benefits to retirement age. To request up-to-date pension information, please use the contact us form.

Q. Who should I contact with questions or queries?

A. In the first instance, please get in touch with your employer’s USS pensions contact, this information can be found on your statement.

For queries regarding your USS Investment Builder pot, you can contact us via our online contact form, or you can contact the Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 (lines are open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday). You can also write to us at Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, Royal Liver Building, Liverpool, L3 1PY.

Q. How much does my employer pay into the Scheme?

A. Your employer currently pays a monthly contribution equal to 19.5% of your salary into the USS Retirement Income builder, while you pay 8.8%. At the date of this statement your employer was paying a monthly contribution equal to 18% of your salary while you were paying standard monthly contributions of 8%. You can find out more about contributions and any changes proposed to them on our 2018 valuation pages.

Q. What do I need to declare on my tax return?

A. This will depend on a number of things, 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 our pension tax page or go to gov.uk/tax-on-pension.

Q. I’ve exceeded my annual allowance – how can I use Scheme Pays? What’s the deadline for Voluntary
Scheme Pays?

A. If you’ve incurred an Annual Allowance tax charge, you may be able to use Scheme Pays, depending on the amount of the charge. With Scheme Pays, USS pays the Annual Allowance charge direct to HMRC from your USS Pension on your behalf.

If you apply for Scheme Pays, it will be funded through your USS Investment Builder 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. For more information, including deadlines and terms and conditions, check out our factsheets and member guides and scroll down to tax factsheets.

Q. What is the USS tax reference number for the purpose of using Scheme Pays?

A. When you are informing the HMRC via your tax return of your intention to use Scheme Pays, you will need to give them the USS tax reference number of 00330004RR. For more information on Scheme Pays, including deadlines and terms and conditions, check out our factsheets and member guides and scroll down to tax factsheets.

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

A. You can only set a Target Retirement Age (TRA) if your USS Investment Builder savings are invested in either the Default or Ethical Lifestyle option (Do It For Me): Go to the ‘manage my investments form’ in My USS and select the TRA that applies to you. If you do not set a TRA, this will be set to the scheme’s Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 65.

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

A. Your Target Retirement Age (TRA) is important for a couple of reasons. It tells us when to switch any investments you have in the USS Investment Builder to lower risk funds as you get closer to retirement – we do this for members in the USS Default Lifestyle Fund and the USS Ethical Lifestyle Fund (“Do It For Me” funds). We also use the TRA when we send you your annual projection of what your USS Investment Builder funds could be worth at retirement. If you do not set a TRA, this will be set to the scheme’s Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 65.

Q. Are benefits from all my USS related jobs/posts included?

A. Yes. If you have more than one job that entitles you to membership with USS, the benefits from all will be combined on your statement.

Q. Are my previous USS benefits included?

A. Your Annual Member Statement includes the value of all the benefits built up in USS to 31 March 2019. This includes any transfers-in and additional contributions you may have made.

Q. Why is my fund value at 2018 on my current Annual Member Statement different to what was quoted
in my previous statement?

A. When you switch investments between funds, the amount that you switch is reflected in the figure for Total contributions made during the year. The carried forward value of your savings to 31 March 2018, is reduced accordingly.

Q. What can I do on My USS?

A. My USS can be used by active members (members currently paying to the scheme) to manage their contributions into the USS investment Builder, and the investments of those funds. Deferred members (members who are no longer building benefits in the scheme but haven’t yet started to draw their benefits) can manage their investment choices from the USS Investment Builder.

Q. Can I retire early?

A. More information relating to early retirement can be found in the Retirement factsheet.

Q. Why is the Retirement age (NPA) quoted in my most recent statement different to that which was quoted in a previous statement?

A. The most recently issued Annual Member Statements (31 March 2019) quote the scheme’s Normal Pension Age (NPA) which is currently age 65. This is usually the earliest age you can receive the full amount of USS benefits you’ve earned, without a reduction for early retirement.

In the past, however, individual contracts of employment could have conferred a different, lower, retirement age (but not less than age 60). This means that some individuals may have had the right to retire earlier than USS’s NPA.

Based on feedback from employers, we have quoted the NPA on the Annual Member Statement. If you have a Contractual Pension Age this will be quoted in your contract with your employer.

Q. Why does my statement show my estimated income at my Target Retirement Age, from an annuity,
as zero?

A. This figure won’t be shown if you’re within two years of your Target Retirement Age (TRA), are over the age of 65, or if you have a low fund value and haven’t made any contributions to it this year. Details of what benefits your savings will give you on retirement will be provided to you when you come to take your benefits.

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