The value of being a USS member

At USS we have one overarching goal that motivates us every day: to serve our members in the best way possible, offering a valuable way to save for the future.

As a member of USS, you have access to a number of benefits that make saving with us worthwhile.

You get tax relief on your contributions

The tax you would have paid goes into your pot instead of to the taxman*

Your employer pays your admin and investment management costs**

So more of your money goes into your pot

If you’re a basic-rate taxpayer (20%) and contributed £100, the £20 you would usually pay in tax goes into your pension instead

Research shows that a management fee
of 0.5% could reduce a typical pot
by 11% by retirement

A 1% fee could reduce a pot by 21%.
So the value of this employer subsidy could be substantial

If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer (40%) and contributed £100, the £40 you would usually pay in tax goes into your pension instead

You are at the heart of everything we do – we don’t have other clients or shareholders, so we are entirely focused on serving members in the higher education sector Your employer makes significant contributions, which greatly helps to build your savings

There are valuable death benefits if you die in service

You benefit from economies of scale by being part of one of the largest pension schemes in the UK

3x your salary in life cover (more if you’ve made additional contributions)

We have leveraged our scale to negotiate lower investment management charges than our competitors, which are already subsidised by your employer

Plus a pension for your dependents

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...we pay less in fees and more money goes towards your pension.

You benefit from dedicated investment managers, whose sole responsibility is to manage investments on your behalf and design products entirely for our members – not just buy something off the shelf.

We manage ¾ of our USS Retirement Income Builder assets in-house, so we pay less in fees and more money goes towards your pension

Performance graph

Our performance is strong – we’ve outperformed other Master Trusts in terms of percentage return, for the level of risk taken***

We’re a not-for-profit organisation, so everything we do is entirely for you.

To see an estimate of what you’ll get at retirement, why not use our modellers to work out what your pension could be and consider your options.

* There are HMRC limits on the amount of tax-efficient savings you can make each year. Please see our Annual Allowance factsheet for more information.

** The employer subsidy only part covers the investment management charges of the USS Emerging Markets Equity Fund.

***Source: A study by Corporate Advisers Intelligence, Master Trust Defaults Report, July 2018. This report included a selection of Master Trusts who had reported their returns and risks. Where performance and risk data was not available, Master Trusts have been omitted. The returns are gross of fees.

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