Switch your USS Investment Builder funds online
Switching funds involves making a change to how your USS Investment Builder funds are invested. It usually involves selling units you hold in an existing fund and investing them in a different fund of your choice.
For example, you could choose to switch from a lifestyle option (“Do It For Me”) to self-select funds (“Let Me Do It”) or vice versa. Or you could choose to switch from one self-select fund to another.
Switching is optional, and if you are happy with your investment choices there is no requirement to switch funds. However, we recommend you review your investment choices from time-to-time to ensure they suit your retirement plans. You can switch funds whenever you choose, but you can only make one switch in a 24 hour period.
You can find more information about your investment options in the Guide to investing in the USS Investment Builder as well as the range of fund factsheets available in My USS.
You may wish to switch funds for a variety of reasons, such as to take a more active/less active approach to your investment decisions, to invest in ethical investment funds, or to change to funds which are more suited to your retirement plans.
What can I switch?
You can switch your investments for all, or one of your contribution stream(s):
- Normal contributions – are those paid by you and your employer in relation to your salary above the salary threshold, the salary threshold for 2017/2018 is £55,550;
- Additional Contributions – include the match and any voluntary contributions you have elected to pay;
- Transfer-in – are funds you have transferred from another pension scheme(s), or from Prudential;
- All – this will apply to all the contribution streams above.
Depending on your new investment choice, you may also be able to choose whether your switch affects the funds you have already built up (“existing funds”), the contributions you make in the future (“future contributions”), or both existing and future contributions. This is explained below.
If you are switching from a Let Me Do It fund(s) to another Let Me Do It fund(s), you will be presented with four options:
- 1. Invest my future contributions - this will move any future contributions made by you and your employer (if any) to your new investment choices. Any existing funds you have built up will not be switched and will remain as invested;
- 2. Switch my existing funds and future contributions - your existing funds will be switched and any future contributions made by you and your employer (if any) will be invested in accordance with your new investment choices;
- 3. Switch my existing funds - only your existing funds will be switched in accordance with your new investment choices. Any future contributions made by you and your employer (if any) will remain as invested;
- 4. Partially switch existing funds - you can choose to switch some of your existing funds to another fund and leave some funds as invested.
- For example, you could choose to move 50% of your funds from the USS Bond Fund to the USS Cash Fund and leave the rest invested as is, this would trigger a partial switch from one fund to another.
In the Do It For Me investment option your investment choices are chosen for you and all funds are invested in the same way. If you are switching from Do It For Me to Let Me Do It, or vice versa, you will only be able to switch your existing funds and future contributions (option 2. above). This restriction only applies to an individual contribution stream, so you could choose Do It For Me for one contribution stream and Let Me Do It for another.
How do I switch?
If you are an active member, you can make changes to, or switch your investments at any time through My USS by logging in and selecting ‘Manage my investments’. If you haven’t yet registered for My USS, you can register here.
If you are a deferred or pensioner member you will need to contact the Member Service Desk on 0333 300 1043 to make changes to, or switch your investments.
What to consider when switching
It’s important to keep in mind there may be costs and risks involved with switching, for example:
- Changes to investments in the lifestyle options that happen if you amend your Target Retirement Age in a way that causes your investments to change (for example, if you update to and/or from a Target Retirement Age that is less than 10 years away).
- The timing of the switch. Both the ‘sell’ and ‘buy’ parts of the transaction will be processed on the next available trade date, during this time the value of your investments can change and could go down. If, for example, you request a switch and the fund you’re selling falls in value before the switch is made, there will be less money to switch to the new fund.
What are the costs of switching?
- The trustee will not generally charge an administration fee for switches, but reserves the right to charge where frequent switching is occurring;
- Transaction costs may be incurred when you switch between funds. These are the costs associated with buying and selling funds, such as fees to market traders. Keep in mind that these vary over time and with market conditions, so actual costs to you may be higher or lower. The more switches you make, the more transaction costs you may incur;
- Any charges you incur are deducted automatically from your pension savings in the USS Investment Builder.
More information on the funds available in the USS Investment Builder and the potential transaction costs associated with selling or buying a specific fund is available in the Guide to investing in the USS Investment Builder.
When reviewing your investment choices, you may want to think about taking independent financial advice on the options available to you. You can find an independent financial adviser through the following website: www.unbiased.co.uk. Please be aware that you may be charged a fee for any advice.
This publication is for general guidance only. It is not a legal document and does not explain all situations or eventualities. USS is governed by a trust deed and rules and if there is any difference between this publication and the trust deed and rules the latter prevail.