Flexibility with the USS Investment Builder

When you retire and access your benefits in the USS Retirement Income Builder, you will be able to take your savings from the USS Investment Builder in one or a combination of the following three ways:

1. Take your savings as cash.

2. Secure a regular income.

3. Leave your savings invested and make withdrawals when you need to.

To find out more, read our guide.

The USS Investment Builder Choices

Watch the below animated guide to learn about the Investment Builder choices.

What are my options?

  • Can I take my savings as cash?

    When you retire you can take a tax-free cash lump sum payment; this can be up to 25% of the combined value of your savings in the USS Investment Builder and benefits in the USS Retirement Income Builder. This means you will be able to withdraw some, or all, of your pension savings in the USS Investment Builder as tax-free cash to use as you see fit.

    You will receive no further benefits from the USS Investment Builder if you withdraw all of your savings as cash and any savings from the USS Investment Builder that you don’t take as a cash lump sum can be used for one or both of the other two options available.

    Read the full guide here for more information.

  • Can I use my savings as a regular income?

    You may be able to use your pension savings in the USS Investment Builder to increase the value of the monthly income you’ll receive from the USS Retirement Income Builder*. You can use your savings to secure a regular income from a third party provider by buying a product called an annuity (regular income in retirement) instead.

    Any regular income you receive in retirement from USS, where applicable, or a third party provider will be taxed as income at the highest rate applicable to you at the time and any savings that you don’t use to secure a regular income (and/or take as cash - see option 1 in the guide) can be left invested and then withdrawn in the future (see option 3 in the guide).

    * The option to purchase additional pension from the USS Retirement Income Builder will not be available indefinitely - please check with USS before considering this option.

    Read the full guide here for more information.

  • Can I leave my savings invested and make withdrawals when I need to?

    You can leave some or all of your money invested in the USS Investment Builder. You can then withdraw up to four cash lump sums each year when you wish to.

    Your first withdrawal in each calendar year, or a withdrawal which reduces your savings to £0 will be free, with further withdrawals incurring an administration charge (currently £90) and 25% of any withdrawals you make will be tax-free, with the remainder taxed as income at the highest rate applicable to you at the time.

    This is not an “all or nothing” option. You can take some of your savings as cash at retirement (as per option 1 of the guide) and/or leave some funds invested to make withdrawals from or use to secure an income later.

    Read the full guide here for more information.