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The value of your USS membership

Even if you’re no longer building a USS pension, there are still a few things you should think about

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but something that is certain is that the USS benefits you’ve built up in the Retirement Income Builder are guaranteed.

So, even though you’re no longer paying in to USS, your benefits will be there for you when you’re ready to use them, and if the worst should happen, those benefits will go to your loved ones.

If you’ve left USS-eligible employment, you should think about getting guidance or financial advice to see where your benefits will work best for you. Take a look at our guidance and financial advice page for more information. There’s also a webinar for members thinking about leaving or who have already left USS, taking place on 21 June and on other dates throughout the year.

If you’re still working in a role where you can re-join USS, remember that your employer will have to re-enrol you every three years – that’s the law.

And if you're still eligible to re-join USS, you can pick up where you left off at any time. Just tell your employer, and we’ll do the rest.

It’s worth knowing that the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association says you’ll need a retirement income of £20,800 for a ‘moderate’ lifestyle in retirement, but the full State Pension is less than £10,000, so even though current cost of living increases are really biting, your USS benefits could make a genuine difference to how future you, gets by. Check out the Deferred Pension Increase Modeller, to see what your USS benefits will be worth when you retire.

You can also log in or register for My USS, where you can see the value of your Retirement Income Builder benefits as well as any savings you have in the Investment Builder.

And while you’re in My USS, there are a few things you should do:

  • Make sure your Expression of Wish form is up to date, so we know where you’d like your benefits to go should the worst happen.
  • If you have Investment Builder savings, check that your investment choices still match your goals.
  • Check your Target Retirement Age (TRA) is still right because this helps us to manage any Investment Builder savings you may have in line with your aspirations, and it lets us know when to contact you, as you approach retirement.
  • Review your email and postal addresses and also your communications preferences, so you don’t miss vital messages from us.

For more information on what happens after you stop building your USS pension, take a look at our leaving section.

Published: 9 June 2022

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