The USS scheme

There are two sections of USS that work alongside each other. You have the choice to be a member of both.

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The USS Retirement Income Builder

You’ve automatically joined the USS Retirement Income Builder. This provides you with an income when you retire based on how long you’ve been a member of USS and your salary, up to an annual threshold* (£58,589.70 for 2019/2020), which is set each year.

Benefits for you

  • The security of a regular income for the rest of your life when you retire;
  • The ability to take some money as tax-free cash when you retire;
  • Incapacity benefits cover if you become unable to work;
  • A payment of three times your annual salary to help support your family if you die while still working for an employer that contributes to USS;
  • An income paid to your dependants when you die;
  • Your employer currently pays a monthly contribution equal to 19.5% of your salary, while you pay 8.8%; and
  • Tax relief on contributions and the option of a tax-free lump sum at retirement.

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The USS Investment Builder

If you earn over the salary threshold (£58,589.70 for 2019/2020), you and your employer, will automatically pay contributions into the USS Investment Builder*. If you don’t earn above the threshold, you can choose to join the USS Investment Builder by making additional contributions through My USS. Find out more here.

The USS Investment Builder is available in addition to the USS Retirement Income Builder. All contributions are invested and at retirement you can use the value to supplement your income from the USS Retirement Income Builder.

Benefits for you

  • The ability to top-up your retirement savings;
  • Your investments managed by us, with ready-made solutions designed to meet your retirement needs, or a range of funds with the freedom to choose your own investments;
  • Flexibility over how you can take your savings when you retire; and
  • Tax relief on contributions and the option of a tax-free lump sum at retirement.
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Benefits earned before April 2016

If you were a member of USS before 1 April 2016 you will have built benefits in either the final salary or career revalued benefits section of the scheme. For more information on these benefits and how they are treated going forward visit the dedicated page.

*The salary threshold for 2019/20 is £58,589.70. This is revalued each year to take account of inflation (the rising cost of goods and services). Automatic contributions to the USS Investment Builder are based on your salary in excess of the threshold.