# Your guide to the Universities Superannuation Scheme

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1 Your guide to the Universities Superannuation Scheme February 2016

2 02 Contents The document contains the following sections: Contents 02 About this guide 03 Your USS at a glance 04 Joining the scheme 05 How much will be paid when you retire? 07 Do you work part-time? 13 USS pension increases 14 When can you retire? 15 Bereavement benefits 18 Transferring benefits to USS 20 What if I leave USS? 21 Moving employment between USS employers 23 Increasing your retirement savings 24 Other information 26 The small print 28 What do we mean? 32 Contact us 33

8 08 How much will be paid when you retire? Salary Calculation Pension for year Total pension Year 1 37, ,500 X 1/ Year 2 39, ,375 X 1/ , Year 3 40, ,781 X 1/ , Year 4* 60, ,000 X 1/ , , The following example is based on a member with four years service. When he joined he was earning 37,500 a year. He is now earning 60,000 a year. This is how we ve worked out his benefits in USS Retirement Income Builder. * We now need to add on the increases that would be applied to the benefits earned, in line with USS pension increases. The following table is an example of how this would work, using assumed rates of increase. As this member is now earning above the current salary threshold, his USS Retirement Income Builder benefits for that year have been limited to the threshold. His contributions in respect of salary above the threshold will be paid into the USS Investment Builder and will be invested in one of a range of funds provided by the trustee which the member can choose from. In this example we have used 55,000 as the salary threshold for illustration only. Pension for year Inflation calculation Pension plus revaluation x 1* ( x 1.02) , ( 1, x 1.03) , ( 1, x 1.015) , Total annual pension 2, * Pension increases only applied after 12 months.

11 11 How much will be paid when you retire? How does the USS Retirement Investment Builder work? Through the contributions that you and your employer pay you build up additional, flexible pension savings in USS Investment Builder. The fund value built up as a result of these contributions remains within the USS Investment Builder until you access it when you retire. When you get to retirement you can decide to use your additional funds to: take as a lump sum, which may be tax free in whole or in part or; In the examples here, we show two members who invest in the USS Investment Builder section for different reasons. For ease we have ignored tax relief and National Insurance so the real cost to both members will be less than we show here. This member is investing in the USS Investment Builder because their salary is above the salary threshold. She earns 70,000 a year at a time when the salary threshold is 55,000. She pays 8% of her salary to USS ( a month) which is automatically divided between the two sections as follows: provide a regular monthly income; or a combination of these options. A factsheet will be made available during 2016 to fully explain your options in more detail. The benefits you receive from the USS Income Builder section are based on a formula outlined in the scheme rules. In the USS Investment Builder what you get out depends on how much is paid in and investment returns, after deduction of charges (if any). Amount paid into the USS Retirement Income Builder 55,000 x 8% = a month to provide the USS Retirement Income Builder benefits Amount invested in the USS Investment Builder section ( 70,000-55,000) x 8% = a month These contribution amounts are before tax relief, so the true cost will be less. The employer will also pay 150 a month into the USS Investment Builder, ( 70,000-55,000) x 12%. So, in total, a month is paid in to this member s USS Investment Builder account and is invested to provide retirement savings. The total employer s contribution to the scheme is 1,050 per month ( 70,000 X 18%).

12 12 How much will be paid when you retire? This member is below the salary threshold but wants to save more towards his retirement. This member earns 35,000 a year which is less than the salary threshold but he wants to save 3% of his salary as additional contributions and so benefit from the match from his employer of 1% of his salary. These additional amounts are paid in to his USS Investment Builder: The member pays 35,000 X 3% = a month His employer pays 35,000 X 1% = a month So, in total a month is paid into his USS Investment Builder. The same approach would apply if, in the previous example, the member wanted to pay more into his USS Investment Builder. Remember, if you earn less than the salary threshold then you do not automatically contribute to the USS Investment Builder, however you may choose to do so.

14 14 USS pension increases It s important to understand how the standard USS pension increases work. These increases are applied to: The benefits from any past membership you may have built up until 31 March 2016; The benefits you build up in the USS Retirement Income Builder; The value of pension benefits once in payment; and The value of your benefits if you leave the scheme and have a deferred pension. USS pension increases are reviewed each year and are linked to increases in official pensions. Official pensions increases are those paid to retired public sector employees such as teachers, civil servants or NHS employees. Currently, the annual increases to official pensions, usually effective from each April, are linked to changes in the consumer price index, which is a measure of inflation over the 12 months up to each September. USS will match increases in official pensions for the first 5%. If official pensions increase by more than 5%, then USS will pay half of the difference up to a maximum increase of 10%. So, if official pensions increased by 15% or more, USS increases would be 10% in that year. Your pension will not be reduced during periods of negative inflation. Additionally, the USS pension increases are used to increase the salary threshold.

20 20 Transferring benefits to USS You can transfer benefits from any pension scheme that has been deemed acceptable by HM Revenue & Customs into USS. This includes most schemes offered by an employer as well as personal pensions. You may also be able to transfer overseas pension arrangements into USS, although you should be aware that it is not possible to transfer state pension benefits. Some members may still be able to transfer benefits in to USS from public sector schemes that are part of the transfer club. These transfers will continue to buy additional years and days of service in USS on a final salary basis (however this will be based on final salary calculated at 31 March 2016 plus pension increases up to retirement). In order to transfer in benefits under the rules of the Public Sector Transfer Club you must request a transfer within two years of joining or re-joining USS. This only applies to you if you joined USS between 1 April 2014 and 31 March Members of the CRB scheme can continue to transfer in benefits on a CRB basis, but the transfer request must be accepted before 31 March On 1 October 2016 the treatment of transfers is changing: Up to 30 September 2016 All members will move into the USS Retirement Income Builder from 1 April 2016 and therefore any benefits transferred in before 1 October 2016 will be on a CRB basis forming extra pension and cash within that section of the scheme. From 1 October 2016 If you want to transfer benefits (with the exception of some club transfers as explained earlier) from 1 October 2016 these transfers will only be accepted in to the USS Investment Builder. Transfers in to the USS Investment Builder will not benefit from the employer subsidy of investment management costs unless the transfer in is from the existing Money purchase additional voluntary contributions (Money purchase AVCs) arrangement that USS has established through Prudential. At retirement the fund can then be used: as a lump sum, which may be tax free whole or in part or; provide a regular monthly income. How do I request a transfer? There is a Transfer request form available on uss.co.uk or speak to the USS pensions contact at your employer.

22 22 What if I leave USS? Financial advice You are encouraged to take financial advice before moving your retirement savings. It is now a legal requirement to take financial advice when transferring defined benefit rights from a scheme like USS to a defined contribution scheme when the defined benefit transfer is 30,000 or more. Pension Wise if you need some impartial guidance about the options you have with the USS Investment Builder you could contact Pension Wise. Pension Wise is a free and impartial government service set up to give you guidance on your options under defined contribution schemes, like the USS Investment Builder. Can I continue to pay in to USS if I leave my job? No. Once an employment that entitles you to USS membership ends you can no longer pay in to the scheme. If you have withdrawn from the scheme but continue in an employment which entitles you to USS membership you can re-join the scheme at any time. Please see our factsheet on leaving the scheme for full information about your options. Please see the website pensionwise.gov.uk.

23 23 Moving employment between USS employers If you transfer to another employer that participates in USS and there is less than one calendar month between posts you can remain in USS without a break in your membership. Although there is nothing you need to do when this happens, it would be helpful if you could let your employer know which employer you are going to, this may help to speed up the process and ensures that, if your break is less than a month, you are not treated as having left the scheme. Your former employer will then notify your new employer that you are transferring your pension arrangements. If there is more than one calendar month between posts you will be classed as having left the scheme and your options will be the same as for any other leaver. Remember, if your personal circumstances have changed, make sure your Expression of wish form is up to date.

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