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Looking after your loved ones while you're 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

Your USS membership includes life cover. It’s a valuable benefit that helps support your loved ones, should the worst happen to you.

While you’re contributing to USS your life cover could include:

  • a lump sum for your beneficiaries of up to three times your annual salary
  • a pension for life for your spouse, civil partner or someone else who is dependent on you
  • a pension for any eligible children

If you stop contributing to USS these benefits will be based on the pension you’ve built up.

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 on 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 21% of contributing members 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 your salary, plus any Investment Builder savings you may have. We base this on your actual salary during the year, not the full time equivalent if you’re part time.

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 of the pension you would be eligible for if you’d paid in to USS until age 65. 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.

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 would be eligible for if you’d paid in to USS until age 65.

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: 28 May 2024

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