Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

How USS works

There are two sections of USS that work alongside each other.

USS Retirement Income Builder

When you become a member of USS you automatically join the USS Retirement Income Builder. This provides you with an income when you retire based on how long you’ve been a member of USS and your salary, up to an annual threshold, which is set each year. The salary threshold for 2020/21 is £59,585.72.

The USS Retirement Income Builder gives you:

  • The security of a regular income for the rest of your life when you retire
  • The ability to take some money as tax-free cash when you retire
  • Incapacity benefits cover if you become unable to work
  • A payment of three times your annual salary to help support your family if you die while still working for the University
  • An income paid to your dependants when you die
  • Tax relief on contributions

USS Investment Builder

If you earn over the salary threshold (£59,585.72 for 2020/21), you and the University, will automatically pay contributions into the USS Investment Builder. If you don’t earn above the threshold, you can choose to join the USS Investment Builder by making additional contributions.

All contributions are invested and at retirement you can use the value to supplement your income from the USS Retirement Income Builder.

The USS Investment Builder gives you:

  • The ability to top-up your retirement savings
  • Your investments managed by USS, with ready-made solutions designed to meet your retirement needs, or a range of funds with the freedom to choose your own investments
  • An online service provided for you to manage your membership of the USS Investment Builder
  • Flexibility over how you can take your savings when you retire
  • Tax relief on contributions

Your and the University's Contributions

You pay 9.6% of your salary into the scheme towards the cost of providing your benefits. You can choose to increase the value of your retirement savings by paying more.

The University pays a monthly contribution of 21.1% of your salary up to an annual threshold (£59,585.72 for 2020/21). If your salary exceeds the threshold, the University pays 12% of your salary over the threshold into the USS Investment Builder.

Further information

Further information on USS is available on their website at www.uss.co.uk.