Your USS Investment Builder options in My USS

When you become a member of USS you automatically join the USS Retirement Income Builder, but you can also build up extra savings to help boost your pension, by making additional contributions to the USS Investment Builder.

If you earn above the salary threshold, have recently transferred in from another pension provider, or have already made additional contributions (including the match) you’ll already have savings in the USS Investment Builder.

This means you can choose how your cash is invested; the better your investments perform, the more money you’ll have in your pension pot to fund the retirement you want. Making investment decisions might seem daunting but we’ve done some of the work for you, by including a range of options and information in My USS to help make your decisions.

The USS Investment Builder gives you choices - there are two investment options for your funds:

How do I decide

Do It For Me is the option used by the majority of our members. All you need to do is choose either the USS Default Lifestyle Option or the USS Ethical Lifestyle Option. If you do not make an investment selection, then your savings will be invested in the USS Default Lifestyle Option.

The USS Default Lifestyle Option is the default investment option for the USS Investment Builder, designed for our members’ expected risk tolerance and preferred outcome.

The USS Ethical Lifestyle Option invests in ethical investment funds, which are special funds that avoid certain investments on ethical grounds, or invest according to Islamic principles.

IB savings

We’ll invest your contributions in a mix of investment types, which will switch from ‘growth’ to ‘moderate’ to ‘cautious’ as you get closer to your Target Retirement Age (TRA). Between 10 and five years before your TRA, we start to gradually reduce the fund risk but we’ll let you know when this happens.

If you choose Do It For Me, you may want to use My USS to set your TRA. We need to know this so we can switch your investments at the right time. If you don’t set a TRA, it will default to your normal pension age (usually age 65, but increasing in line with State Pension age).

The Let Me Do It option puts you in control of your investment decisions. You can choose any mix of funds from the 10 on offer, which have, to date, all consistently performed above benchmark since their introduction in 2016. To learn more about these options and help work out which one is right for you, watch our Investment Choices animated guide.

Purple chart

To support your decision making in Let Me Do It, we have a fund performance page in My USS where you can compare the funds’ costs, returns and risk levels against each other. Fund factsheets are also available under ‘My investment options’ in My USS.

If you save with the USS Investment Builder, your employer currently subsidises the majority of the investment management charges, so more of your contribution will be invested for you.

Fund factsheets

So with a number of investment options available to you throughout your journey to retirement, the earlier you start making your investment choices, the more prepared you will be when retirement comes around.

My USS makes these options easily available, so you can change your approach at any time.

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