Maximising your pension

If you want to start paying more towards your pension you can do so via the USS Investment Builder.

The USS Investment Builder

Contributions are invested on your behalf and any returns on those investments are added to your USS Investment Builder pot. For those who do not wish to make an active investment choice a default strategy will be provided. For those who wish to actively manage their investments themselves, there are a range of self-select fund options available.

The range of funds on offer will give you the flexibility to choose the level of risk you are comfortable with and target the level of return you wish to achieve, or to choose a fund that satisfies your own investment beliefs and preferences.

For more information on the funds and options that will be available please refer to the USS Investment Builder Guide.

You also have flexibility around how you can access your USS Investment Builder savings anytime from age 55 or when you retire. For more information on the different ways you can access your savings please refer to the Flexibility with the USS Investment Builder guide.

You may wish to seek financial advice when deciding how to access your USS Investment Builder, particularly around the tax implications of accessing your savings.

I am currently paying an AVC to secure additional service

For members of the previous final salary scheme with AVC arrangements already in place the benefits earned from AVC arrangements will be based upon total service secured by the AVC and pensionable salary as at 31 March 2016.

You can cancel your AVC arrangement at any time. If you do so then the service purchased by the arrangement will be reduced accordingly. This also applies if AVCs cease before normal pension age due to early retirement or ceasing to be an active member.

If you are paying AVCs as a member of the previous career revalued benefits scheme either as a one-off lump sum payment, or through regular instalments, any annual pension which you have completed the purchase of before 31 March 2016 will be included in the calculation of the benefits you have built up as at 31 March 2016, and then increased in line with the increases in official pensions.

If you are paying into a regular instalment AVC that started before 31 March 2016, we will assume that you will continue to make payments to complete the purchase of your additional annual pension unless you tell us otherwise.

For more information please refer to the USS member guide - Your guide to Universities Superannuation Scheme.

Tax relief

One attraction of paying more in to a pension scheme is that you currently receive tax relief on those contributions.

For example, if you make a contribution of £100, as a standard-rate tax-payer this will cost you £80 from your take-home pay. If you’re a higher-rate tax-payer the cost will be £60, based on current income tax rates.

Are there any limits to how much I can build up?

There are limits to the amount you can build up tax-efficiently – these limits are set by HM Revenue & Customs. For more information on this please visit the Tax considerations section.


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