Important information about your Money Purchase AVC arrangement (MPAVC) with Prudential

We’ve made some changes to our Money Purchase AVC arrangement (MPAVC) with Prudential.

As of 1 October 2019, it is no longer possible to pay further MPAVCs to the Prudential With-Profits fund.

We’ve changed our Money Purchase AVC arrangement (MPAVC) with Prudential because we believe the USS Investment Builder offers value and flexibility to all members of USS.

We launched the USS Investment Builder in October 2016 to give you a flexible way to top up your pension, let you choose the level of control you have over your investment strategy and open up new ways for you to access the funds you build up.


What have your MPAVCs been invested in?

You have built up a pot in the Prudential With-Profits Fund. This is a pooled investment, where your MPAVCs are added to contributions from other members and invested in a mix of different assets.


What’s changing?

As of 1 October 2019, you can no longer make MPAVCs to the Prudential With-Profits fund, but your With-Profits pot will remain invested with Prudential, unless you decide to move it.


What can you do with your Prudential With-Profits pot?

You can choose from three options

Leave your money invested in the Prudential With-Profits fund.


If you choose to do this, you don’t have to take any action.

Switch your Prudential With-Profits pot to the USS Investment Builder*.


Visit the forms page and go to ‘Request to voluntarily switch MPAVC funds into the USS Investment Builder’.

Transfer your Prudential With-Profits pot to another arrangement*.


For more information on this, contact Prudential.

*Market Value Reduction and other charges
If you decide to move your pot out of Prudential’s With-Profits fund, it may be subject to a Market Value Reduction (MVR).

This would reduce the value of your investment to reflect market conditions at the time you withdraw so the value of the cash you’re taking out of the With-Profits fund does not adversely impact the value of the investments made by members who remain in the fund. To find out whether an MVR will apply to you, contact Prudential.


You can still make additional contributions in USS

Whether you leave your Prudential With-Profits pot invested, transfer it to another arrangement or switch to USS, you can still make additional contributions to boost the cash you’ll have in the future.

Just log into My USS and start building a pot in the USS Investment Builder. Simply go to the ‘manage my contributions form’, where you can choose to build your pot with either regular additional contributions or one-off lump sums.

You can also decide how your pot’s invested, choosing from 10 funds on offer or letting us do it for you.

You may already have a USS Investment Builder pot, if you’ve transferred pension benefits into USS from another arrangement, earn above the salary threshold or if you’re already making additional contributions.


Other investments with Prudential

The closure of MPAVCs to the Prudential With-Profits fund doesn’t affect any other investments you may have with Prudential.

If you have other investments, with Prudential that you built up by paying MPAVCs in the past, and which have not been switched to USS, you can choose to move your pot to the USS Investment Builder or transfer to any other arrangement of your choice, subject to Prudential’s terms and conditions.

However, you should speak to Prudential about any charges that may apply and any guarantees that you may lose by moving your funds out of Prudential. We recommend seeking financial advice before you take any action regarding your investments.

If you’re not sure whether you have any other investments with Prudential, you should contact them directly. If you do have Prudential products, you’ll receive an annual statement from Prudential in due course which will show you their value.


Life cover

The closure of MPAVCs to the Prudential With-Profits fund doesn’t affect any life assurance arrangement you may have with Prudential. If this applies to you, your life assurance contributions will continue in the usual way unless you cancel your cover with Prudential directly.

Prudential will contact you every three years to confirm the costs of your life cover.

Advice and guidance

We recommend that you take financial advice before making any decision about your investments. You can find a financial adviser at www.unbiased.co.uk – you may be charged a fee for any advice you receive.

For independent guidance on investing for the future, you can contact:

Resources

Resources

Switching or transferring your Prudential With-Profits pot
If you want to switch your Prudential With-Profits pot to the USS Investment Builder, visit the forms page and go to ‘Request to voluntarily switch MPAVC funds into the USS Investment Builder’.

If you want to transfer to another arrangement, visit the Prudential website.

The USS Investment Builder
Get more information on the USS Investment Builder on the Maximising your pension page.

Making additional contributions
To make additional contributions to the USS Investment Builder, register for My USS and follow the instructions on the ‘manage my contributions’ form.

If you’ve already registered for My USS, log in and go to the ‘manage my contributions form’.

Prudential With-Profits fund
For general information, go to Prudential’s With-Profits factsheet.

For more detail, read Prudential’s With-Profits guide.




FAQs

Why have USS made this change?

Prudential has historically provided the MPAVC arrangement on behalf of USS. However, we believe that the USS Investment Builder offers our members better value and more flexibility than the Prudential With-Profits Fund.


How does the USS Investment Builder offer better value?

In the USS Investment Builder, you can pick the investment option that matches your savings ambitions and your personal values, with 10 funds to choose from, the option of us managing your investments for you and ethical investment choices. To learn more about the USS Investment Builder, including information about the investment choices that it offers, please refer to USS’s guide to investing in USS Investment Builder.

If you make contributions to the USS Investment Builder, your employer currently subsidises most of the investment management fees and you could benefit from above benchmark fund performance.

We also expect to secure lower charges for the investment options in the USS Investment Builder, due to our economies of scale.

You also have greater flexibility when it comes to taking your money, which you can start doing from age 55, if that fits with your plans. For more on this, see the Flexibility with the USS Investment Builder guide.


Will my With-Profits bonus payments be affected when MPAVCs stop?

You’ll continue to be eligible for annual bonuses and a final bonus for as long as you’re a member of the Prudential With-Profits fund.

You’ll also continue to receive a guaranteed minimum return on your investment, based on the years in which you paid MPAVCs:

Years you paid MPAVCs Minimum guaranteed return each year
From 1 April 2003 0.01%
1 April 1996-31 March 2003 2.5%
1 October 1993-31 March 1996 4.75%

How can I tell if I have a MPAVC arrangement with Prudential?

If you pay MPAVCs, Prudential will send you a statement every year to show you the value of any funds you have.

If you’re not sure whether you’re receiving these statements, contact Prudential on 0345 6000 343.


How can I tell which funds I am invested in?

Your yearly statement from Prudential will give you this information. You can also find it on Prudential’s online portal – log on or register here.


Are there any changes to the way the MPAVC arrangement can be used at retirement?

Nothing will change in terms of the benefit options you will have in respect of MPAVCs. This means, for example, that you can still choose to access your MPAVC funds in the form of tax-free cash (provided the MPAVC fund, when added to your lump sum from your regular membership of the scheme, does not exceed the overall permitted lump sum amount under HMRC rules), or to convert these funds into regular pension income in the scheme using scheme-specific conversion rates as now.


I have savings in Prudential's Unit Linked fund - what will happen to this?

Any savings you have built up in the Prudential Unit Linked fund will remain invested, unless you choose to move them to another arrangement, including USS. Visit the Prudential website for more information.

We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decision about your investments.


Will there be an exit charge for moving my funds out of Prudential?

No. There is no exit charge.


What if I want to continue contributing to Prudential - can I choose to continue paying MPAVC contributions to Prudential?

No. It will not be possible for you to make further contributions to your MPAVC arrangement from 1 October 2019.


Will USS pay for me to get financial advice about moving my Prudential funds to the USS Investment Builder?

Since you have the option of remaining invested in your Prudential fund(s) or moving your investments to any other suitable arrangement, you’re responsible for any advice you may seek.




Useful contacts

Contact USS
If you have any questions about:

  • The closure of With-Profits MPAVCs to new contributions or
  • the USS Investment Builder,

call our Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 – lines are open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday – or get in touch on the website.

Contact Prudential
For more information on:

Visit the Prudential website (www.pru.co.uk) or call the Prudential customer service team on 0345 6000 343.