Investing for your future

We invest with one thing at heart – you, our members.

Although the pension landscape is shifting, our long term investment performance is strong. Our size and strength means we can sustain our investment approach for your future.

The investments supporting the USS Retirement Income Builder, the defined benefit (DB) section of the scheme, have outperformed benchmark returns for 2017/18 and over the last five years.

The USS Investment Builder, the defined contribution (DC) section, has also performed well, with above benchmark returns for all but one of the funds since they were first introduced in October 2016.

The USS Retirement Income Builder

The USS Investment Builder

Investments are made at a scheme level

Investments are made for your own pot, from your own and your employers contributions

Investment returns*:
1yr +6.2% / 5yrs +10.6% p.a.

One of the fastest growing portfolios of DC assets in the country

Ahead of benchmark performance by 1.44% (1 year) and 0.78% (5 years)**

Achieved above benchmark returns for all but one of the funds

Over 198,000 active members

Around 75,000 contributing members and over 45,000 paying additional contributions

¾ of assets are managed in-house, keeping costs down

Over £633 million of invested assets

Investment costs were £61m lower than comparable pension funds***

The average member monthly additional contribution in September was £144, but members pay additional contributions from £5 - £500 each month****

The USS Retirement Income Builder

We manage most of our assets in-house, meaning our investments are made entirely for the purpose of funding your retirement benefits, whilst keeping costs down. We’re dedicated to ensuring the broad range of assets we invest in over the longer term can generate the right stable returns to pay your pension.

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Did you know that when you stop at a Moto service station, you’re supporting your pension investments? With stable returns, this was identified as an attractive investment for our members’ pensions.

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Or, when you fly off on holiday from Heathrow Airport, you’ll be standing in one of the world’s top 10 busiest airports, and another of our major UK investments that’s working hard for you.

Even when you’re driving through the countryside and spot a wind farm on the horizon, you could be looking at your investments in renewable energy.

The USS Investment Builder

You’ll be in the USS Investment Builder if you’ve ever earned above the salary threshold, have recently transferred other benefits into USS, or made additional contributions. You build a pot that’s based on how much you invest and how those investments perform.

This means you have the freedom to choose an investment strategy that suits you.

Our largest fund is the USS Growth Fund, which is the default fund for those who want us to manage their investments, or haven’t made an investment decision.

52% of our DC assets and over 61,000 members have savings invested in the Growth Fund.

The fund has performed well, returning an average of 10.5% each year – our management has helped to deliver this strong performance, which ultimately goes into our members’ pots.

This fund is designed to provide long term growth to members when they’re in the early stages of their investment journeys, by balancing high returns with diversified investments.

You’ll be in the Growth Fund if you’ve chosen the ‘Do It For Me’ Default Lifestyle Option and are more than 10 years from retirement, or haven’t made an investment decision. Almost 84% of our active members in the USS Investment Builder invest entirely in the ‘Do It For Me’ Default Lifestyle Option, meaning our expert team manages investments on their behalf.

You can still choose the Growth Fund if you’re managing your investments yourself. It’s also a popular choice for our members who’ve chosen the ‘Let Me Do It’ option, where you can pick your own funds from a range of 10 on offer. Other funds include those such as the USS Global Equity Fund or the USS Emerging Markets Equity Fund.

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If you’d invested an additional £100 a month in the Growth Fund since October 2016, your fund would be worth over £2,600 by September 2018. And don’t forget, you’ll be benefiting from your own and employer’s contributions, and tax relief too.

The Growth Fund might not be the right fund for everyone, so it’s important you take a look at the fund performance factsheets in My USS and use the fund performance chart to compare them and make the right decision for you.


See our Investing in the UK infographic

Watch our Investment Management at USS explained animation

Take a look at our Guide to investing in the USS Investment Builder for information on all of the funds available.

*Investment returns and benchmark performance as at 31 March 2018

**Five years to 31 March 2018

***Independently assessed by CEM benchmarking

****All USS Investment Builder figures are as at 30 September 2018

For a glossary of our terms please see more information on our important terms page.

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We’re dedicated to ensuring the broad range of assets we invest in over the longer term can generate the right stable returns to pay your pension.