Site map

Help us make USS better for everyone; join our research community

Looking after loved ones even if you've stopped paying in

Did you know that your USS membership could help provide for those closest to you?

Taking care of the people that mean most to you

Even though you’re no longer paying in to USS you might be entitled to life cover, so if the worst should happen, your USS pension could still provide support for your loved ones.

With USS, you get a level of life cover even if you’re no longer paying in. This could include:

  • a lump sum for your beneficiaries of three times the pension you’d built up
  • a pension for your spouse or civil partner for life, or a dependant’s pension if you aren’t married or in a civil partnership
  • a pension for any eligible children.

If you rejoin USS the benefits will be calculated slightly differently.

It’s important to let us know who you'd like to receive these benefits. It only takes a few minutes, and all you have to do is complete your Expression of Wish in My USS.

Keeping this information up to date is a simple way to help make things easier for the people you care about, at what can be a difficult time.

Only 13% of members no longer paying in have updated their beneficiaries in the last three years.

More about the life cover benefits

The lump sum

The lump sum is paid tax free. It could be up to three times the pension you’ve built up when you die. The value of your USS pension and savings can be found on My USS or on your leaver statement. Alternatively, you can also use the Benefit Calculator in My USS to estimate what your benefits are worth now.

You can nominate a relative, partner, dependant or someone else, even a charity. But if you have not updated your Expression of Wish there are more restrictions on who we can pay it to, which means that unmarried partners or friends might not be eligible.

The pension

Your spouse or civil partner could receive a pension for life equal to half the value of your pension when you die. You don’t need to tell us about your spouse or civil partner but you should let us know if there is anyone else financially dependent on you, like an unmarried partner as they could also receive a pension.

Any eligible children under age 18 (or 23 if they’re in full time education) could share a pension of 75% of the pension you have built when you die.

You can complete the Registration of potential dependant at the same time as you update your Expression of Wish.

There are some rules, conditions and other important things you need to know about the benefits your loved ones could receive whilst you’re paying in to USS. Find out more on our what happens when you die page.

Published: 9 May 2024

  • Set your communications preferences

    Remember to log in to My USS to set your preferences and stay up to date.