Retirement. This factsheet sets out the circumstances under which you may retire and receive a pension from USS.

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1 RETIREMENT FINAL SALARY SECTION Retirement This factsheet sets out the circumstances under which you may retire and receive a pension from USS. From what age can I receive my retirement benefits from USS? The normal pension age (NPA) in USS is currently 65. Unless you are retiring due to incapacity, the earliest age you will be able to access your pension will be 55. This affects most pension schemes in the UK, including USS. There are exceptions to this: If you are aged 50 or more, with five or more years service and are made redundant and you have been paying into USS continuously since 5 April 2006, you will be entitled to access your pension from age 50. If you left the scheme on or before 5 April 2006, aged 50 or more, with five or more years service and either left at the request of the employer or were made redundant, you can receive your pension from age 50. If you meet one of the above criteria, you are described as having a Protected Pension Age. Please note these exceptions only apply if you have been made redundant as defined in the rules of USS. Under what circumstances can I retire? There are a number of circumstances in which you may be eligible to receive your retirement benefits. These are: Normal retirement This is when you retire at the scheme s NPA. The NPA is currently 65, however it will increase in line with increases to state pension ages for men and women. If/when the NPA increases in future, the higher NPA will only apply to benefits built up after any change. You do not need the consent of your employer or of Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (the Trustee Company) to retire and receive your benefits at your NPA. You will receive a pension of 1/80th of your pensionable salary (calculated at the date of your retirement) for each year of pensionable service. In addition, you will receive a tax-free lump sum equal to three times your annual pension. You also have the option to take more or less tax-free cash (subject to an upper limit) and a correspondingly lower or higher annual pension. Early retirement If you are age 55 or over and have pensionable service (at its calendar length) of at least five years in aggregate, you may retire before the scheme s NPA in the following circumstances: you choose to retire (in this instance you only require two years service to qualify); or you are made redundant; or your employer consents to your retirement in the interests of the efficient exercise of the institution s functions; or your employer consents to your retirement after you have reached age 60; or you elect to take flexible retirement with your employer s consent from age 55. 1

2 Under what circumstances can I retire? (continued) As mentioned on the previous page, in the case of redundancy you may be able to retire from age 50 onwards, but only if you have been in continuous membership since 5 April If you retire early, at least part of your pension may be reduced for the earlier and therefore longer payment. The way in which these early retirement reductions work is explained in the section How much will my pension be? If your benefits are in deferred status (in other words you leave the scheme but are not old enough to draw your pension at the point you left), you may ask for them to be paid from age 55 (50 in some cases as described in the introductory paragraph to this section). Your benefits may be subject to reduction for early payment. Please see the Options on leaving factsheet at Flexible retirement Under the flexible retirement system, you could draw up to 80% of your benefits whilst remaining in employment, albeit you would be required to reduce your hours and salary by at least 20%. Please see the Flexible retirement factsheet at Late retirement You may remain in service after the Scheme s NPA. If you cease contributions at your NPA, on your retirement you will receive a pension and lump sum calculated using your pensionable service accrued to NPA and your pensionable salary at your actual date of late retirement, increased by 0.5% for each complete month from your NPA to your actual date of retirement. If you choose to continue contributions then, in addition to the above increase to benefits at your NPA, you will continue to build up further benefits in USS based on the additional pensionable service and pensionable salary when you eventually retire. In any case, you must draw your benefits before age 75. How much will my pension be? Normal retirement If you retire at the scheme s NPA, this will simply be your full pension based on your total pensionable service and pensionable salary at the point you retire. How does it work? So, if you had 35 years pensionable service and your final pensionable salary was 40,000, your standard benefits would be: Pension of 35 X 1/80 X 40,000 a year = 17,500 a year Plus Tax-free cash sum of 3 X 17,500 = 52,500 These are your standard benefits; in all cases of retirement, you can elect to receive more tax-free cash and a lower pension, or vice-versa. Early retirement This is far more complex and depends on your age when you retire, but also the reason for retirement. There is an exception to the general early retirement terms for members that were age 55 or more on 1 October 2011 (exempt members). If you were 55 or over on 1 October 2011 and a member of USS as at 30 September 2011, then you may be able to draw your full unreduced pension from age 60 onwards, so long as you have the consent of your employer. Any pension will be based on the total pensionable service and pensionable salary at the date of retirement. Exceptionally, in this situation, where your employer does not consent to your early retirement 1, if you have been in active membership for at least five years in aggregate and are age 60 or over, you can receive an immediate pension. However, part of your pension may be reduced by an ERF determined on actuarial advice. Further details of this calculation can be obtained from the Trustee Company. Early retirement at the instance of your employer If your employment is terminated in the interests of the efficient exercise of the institution s functions 2, as determined by your employer, and you meet the age and minimum pensionable service criteria, and your employer consents to the payment of your benefits, they will be based on your pensionable service and salary at the date of retirement and will not be reduced for early payment. 1 Although consent is not to be unreasonably withheld 2 Unless your employer had good cause to dismiss 2

3 All other members The way in which the early retirement factors are applied is complex, partly due to historic sex equality legislation but also due to changes in the scheme rules. For service before 1 October 2011, it also depends on what your contract of employment states as at 30 September 2011 is the earliest age you can retire, i.e 60, 65 or later, or something in between 60 and 65. Please note, from age 60 and with over five years pensionable service, if your employer consents, you can receive pre-october 2011 benefits without reduction for early retirement. Because of the sex equality issues, the application of the early retirement factors differs between men and women in respect of service before 17 May The way in which these reductions apply for cases of early retirements is as follows: Please note, the treatment of benefits transferred-in is explained on page 7. Retirement from age 60 Contract of employment as at 30 September 2011 states age 60. Service period Reduction for each year and part year before age... Male Female Pre 1 October 2011 No reduction No reduction Post 30 September Contract of employment states age 65. Service period Reduction for each year and part year before age... Male Female Pre 17 May May 1990 to 31 March April 1995 to 30 September Post 30 September Retirement before age 60 (earliest retirement age 55) Contract of employment states age 60. Service period Reduction for each year and part year before age... Male Pre 1 October Post 30 September Contract of employment states age 65. Service period Female Reduction for each year and part year before age... Male Pre 17 May May 1990 to 31 March April 1995 to 30 September Post 30 September Female 3 If a member of USS as at 30 September 2011 and 55 or more on 1 October 2011 and the employer consents, then no early retirement reduction applies. 4 If your employer consents to retirement from age 60 then pre 1 October 2011 benefits are paid without reduction. 5 Exempt members will have early retirement reductions applied for each year before age Exempt members will have early retirement reductions applied for each year before age 63 1 /2. 3

4 How does this work? The following example illustrates the effect of early retirement reductions. Example 1 Retirement at age 58 This example is based on a member with 30 years and 184 days service, final pensionable salary of 40,000 a year and the member s Contractual Pension Age is 65. First of all, we need to work out all the service splits/tranches to assess the early retirement factor: 1. Service before 17/5/ Service between 17/5/1990 and 31/3/ Service between 31/3/1995 and 30/9/ Service after 30/9/2011 = 8 years 17 days = 4 years 319 days = 16 years 184 days = 1 year 29 days Calculation Male Female 1 (8y 17d x 1/80 x 40,000) x ERF* 4,023 x = 2,933 4,023 x = 3,677 2 (4y 319d x 1/80 x 40,000) x ERF* 2,437 x = 2,212 2,437 x = 2,227 3 (16y 184d x 1/80 x 40,000) x ERF* 8,252 x = 6,407 8,252 x = 6,510 4 (1y 29d x 1/80 x 40,000) x ERF* 540 x = x = 401 Total Pension 11,946 a year 12,815 a year *ERF = Early Retirement Factor Then we can work out the early retirement pension as follows: Please remember, in addition to the annual pension, the standard tax-free cash sum is 3 x the value of the early retirement pension (3 x 11,946 for the male member in the example above). The total pension before the application of the Early Retirement Factors was 15,252 a year. As you can see, the calculation is not straightforward. You should speak to the pensions contact at your institution who can arrange a quotation for you. Enhancement of benefits Your employer has the option to purchase additional years of pensionable service in order to increase the value of your benefits. Your employer must decide whether you should receive enhancement and if so, how much. You should contact your employer if you require further information as to whether you would be eligible. 4

5 Pensionable service bought by AVCs If you retire before you have completed the term of your monthly AVC contract, i.e. up to your proposed retirement date (normally age 65), you will be credited with a proportion of the service which you contracted to buy, as follows: period for which AVCs period for which AVCs would have been ( were actually paid payable until proposed retirement date ) x pensionable service that would have been bought by proposed retirement date How does this work? So, if you were purchasing 5 years service with regular monthly contributions over a 20-year period to age 65, the pro-rata reduction if you retired 5 years before age 65 would be: 15 yrs x 5 years = 3 years and 274 days service 20 yrs If you bought additional pensionable service by lump sum AVC and retire before the proposed retirement date, you will be credited with the full amount of pensionable service, unless the lump sum AVC was paid less than 12 months before retirement. Additionally, the benefits will be reduced by an Early Retirement Factor based on the number of years you are retiring earlier than the age stipulated in the Added Years contract. This early retirement reduction does not apply to monthly Added Years AVC contracts that started before April 2006 if you are retiring: because of redundancy before 1 October 2014; or you are retiring from age 60 with your employer s consent. Please note that service derived from an AVC commencing on or after 1 April 2006 does not count towards determining 40 years service when normal contributions cease. Money Purchase AVCs If you have contributed to the Money Purchase AVC, invested with Prudential, you will have a number of options when you retire. You can use the fund to buy a pension (annuity) from Prudential, or you could buy an annuity from another provider under the open market option. Additionally, you may be able to convert your Money Purchase AVC fund to USS service at the point of retirement. This service would provide you with additional USS pension and lump sum. The additional USS pension would be payable for your life, would continue to your spouse/civil partner/dependant on your death at the rate of 50%, and would increase in payment in line with the increase in official pensions (pensions for public sector schemes like Civil Service, teaching etc). You can also get a quotation from the Prudential Conversion Tool on the USS website at Importantly, since 6 April 2006, your Money Purchase AVC fund can be taken as tax-free cash. You are allowed to take up to 25% of the capital value of your benefits (including the USS Money Purchase AVC) as tax-free cash. You could opt to take your entire USS Money Purchase AVC fund as cash, take less cash from the main scheme and receive a higher USS pension. Tax regulations may change; you cannot therefore altogether guarantee that you will be able to take all or part of your Money Purchase AVC fund as tax-free cash when you retire. Full details will be provided on retirement. Please note, enhanced protection will be lost if you elect to transfer your USS Money Purchase AVC fund to secure additional benefits in USS upon retirement. 5

6 Guidance Guarantee All members who retire from the scheme with a money purchase AVC are entitled to free financial guidance. This service is provided by Pension Wise (set up by the UK Government) at Alternatively, you can obtain guidance from the Citizen s Advice Bureau at Early payment of benefits transferred to USS Transfer values agreed before 1 April 2009 Benefit for any service transferred to USS may be actuarially reduced in certain circumstances, in the event of your early retirement before age 60, other than on grounds of ill-health. If your retirement is due to: redundancy OR at the request of your employer This reduction applies: If the transfer payment is received by USS within one year of you joining the scheme then the transferred-in service will be reduced if you retire with less than seven years active membership since joining. OR If the payment is received by USS more than one year after joining then the transferred-in service will be reduced if you retire with less than seven years active membership since the payment had been received (although a period of six months is discounted for administrative time taken to complete the transfer). Transfer values agreed on or after 1 April 2009 If you are retiring under the flexible retirement terms, please refer to the Flexible Retirement factsheet. If you agreed a transfer-in to USS on or after 1 April 2009, the benefits granted will be payable in full from age 65, or the NPA applicable at the time of transfer. If you draw these benefits early, except in the case of incapacity retirement, the benefits in respect of the transfer-in will be reduced for the years and days earlier than age 65. This also applies if you leave the scheme early and then decide to draw your benefits before age 65. The exception for transfers held by the scheme for more than seven years applying to transfers agreed before 1 April 2009 does not apply to transfers agreed after 1 April Pension increases Your pension will be increased annually in the same way as official pensions in the public sector schemes. Increases are the same as the rise in inflation over the year. However, increases on benefits earned since 1 October 2011 are limited to 5% in any year, but if official pensions increase by more than 5% then for each % over 5%, 50% of this increase will be applied in USS up to a maximum increase of 10%. So, if official pensions increased by 15%, the USS increase would be 10% in that year. To be eligible for the increase, you normally have to be 55 years of age on or before the 21st of the month in which the increase is effective (usually April). If you are under age 55, your pension will be increased from the first pension payment following your 55th birthday. Your first increase will be based on the aggregate of those annual increases awarded since your retirement. Details of the exceptions and more information about pension increases are contained in a separate booklet entitled Retiring from the scheme. This condition applies to all transfers accepted on the pre-april 2009 basis. The reduction would be applied only to the benefit for the service transferred-in, irrespective of whether or not the remainder of your USS pension has been reduced for early payment. If you are choosing to retire without your employer s consent to unreduced benefits, the benefits in respect of the transfer-in will be reduced for each year and part-year earlier than 63.5 years of age, or your Contractual Pension Age (as at 30 September 2011) if lower. 6

7 Limits to tax-privileged pensions and lump sums HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) limits the amount of tax privileged benefits you can receive from a UK pension scheme. They do this by imposing a maximum allowance on the amount of pension savings at retirement called the Lifetime Allowance (LTA), and also an allowance for the maximum you are allowed to take as a tax-free lump sum on retirement. In addition, there is an annual limit to the amount of benefit you can build up called the Annual Allowance. You will be advised of the maximum tax-free cash at retirement. Please see the Tax-free cash options at retirement factsheet at Lifetime Allowance Since April 2006, it has been the responsibility of each individual member to check whether their total retirement savings (i.e. USS plus any other retirement benefits) exceed this LTA. To calculate the LTA value of your potential USS pension on the statutory basis, multiply your expected pension by 20 and add on 3 times the value of your pension as tax-free cash (assuming you opt for the standard retirement package). So, if you re expecting a pension of 10,000 a year plus 30,000 as tax-free cash, the LTA value would be 230,000. However, the value of most members retirement benefits will be nowhere near the maximum as the LTA allowance is substantial (initially 1.8 million reduced to 1.25 million from April 2014). If you do exceed the LTA value applicable when you retire, the value of your pension would be reduced as you will be required to pay tax at 25% on the excess, i.e the amount of your pension capital value that exceeds the LTA (as determined on the statutory basis). Periodic payments of your remaining pension will still be subject to income tax. Alternatively, the excess may be taken as a lump sum and taxed at 55%. You will have a responsibility to report the value of your benefits on retirement to HMRC. The LTA value of your USS benefits will be advised to you at the point of your retirement. Accurate retirement benefit calculations cannot be done until shortly before you retire but you can obtain a quotation of your retirement benefits from USS that will indicate the Lifetime Allowance value of your benefits. Annual Allowance A limit called the Annual Allowance (AA) has been introduced by HMRC to the maximum amount of pension you can accrue in a year and still receive tax relief. This is a limit to the maximum growth in the value of your pension over what is called a Pension Input Period (PIP). For USS, the PIP is 1 April to 31 March. This limit is expressed as a capital value, currently the limit is 40,000. To work out the AA for yourself in a given tax year, you first need to work out the value of your pension on 1 April and increase that value by the rise in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) for the previous year. Then work out the value of your pension on 31 March of the following year (this is the Pension Input Period in USS) and work out the difference between the two. Then multiply this figure by 19. This is your AA for that particular tax year. If you are a retired member, you would simply compare the standard pension (before you elected to take more/less cash from USS) on retirement to the value at 1 April before retirement. Please note that this refers only to the year of retirement. For more information see the Limits to Tax Relief and Tax-Free Benefits factsheet 7

8 Working after retirement With the exception of flexible retirement, in order to qualify to draw 100% of your accrued pension, you must terminate your current pensionable employment. Reaching age 65, or achieving 40 years service, does not automatically make you eligible for a pension if you haven t stopped working. You would not be deemed to have retired if you intend to commence another job with your current employer, or with any other employer that participates in USS, that is pensionable in USS. If however, after you have retired you are subsequently offered new employment your employer may have a duty to enrol you into a pension scheme. You will need to seek advice from your employer as to your eligibility and whether you are able to rejoin USS. Further information can be found on the USS website at You should note that your total income, including your pension, will be assessed for income tax. If you have retired on the grounds of incapacity, please note that the rules state that that USS may either: (i) withdraw or suspend that pension for periods up to normal retirement age if USS determines that you are no longer suffering from incapacity; or (ii) withdraw an enhanced incapacity pension and grant a non-enhanced incapacity pension if USS determines that you are suffering from partial incapacity and not total incapacity. If at any time you consider the above applies to you, please inform USS in writing. Lump sum and pension options The standard package of benefits from USS is a pension of 1/80th of your pensionable salary for each year of service plus a lump sum of three times that pension. All members can take less, or in fact no cash, and receive a higher pension. Additionally, from April 2006 HMRC increased the limit on the amount of tax-free cash that can be drawn from an approved pension scheme like USS. This new tax-free cash limit is 25% of the Lifetime Allowance value of your pension. This Lifetime Allowance includes the value of all your pension benefits being drawn on the same day, not just USS. As an estimate, this new tax-free cash limit will on average be in the region of 5.75 times (varying with age and gender) the standard 1/80ths USS pension for most members. All members may, if they wish, receive a tax-free lump sum of up to this new limit and the maximum amount will be provided in your retirement quotation. A modeller is available on the USS website at Please see the Tax-free cash options at retirement factsheet at Deductions from benefits If you have been credited with pensionable service in USS in respect of service either before joining USS (other than as a result of a transfer payment) or in respect of an earlier period of membership of USS, for which you received a refund of contributions, any amounts still due to USS at the date of your retirement will be deducted with interest from your retirement lump sum or, where appropriate, from your pension. This excludes benefits from overseas schemes and surrendered FSSU policies. It may be possible to pay some or all of this amount to USS shortly before you retire and claim tax relief up to the maximum allowed. If you wish to investigate this option, you should ask for a quotation of the cost shortly before you are due to retire. If you contributed to the State Second Pension (S2P) during a period of service with which you have been credited in USS (e.g. whilst a member of FSSU during any time from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 1980), a deduction will be made from your USS pension commencing from the date of your retirement or, if later, the date you reach state pension age. The amount of the deduction will be equivalent to the amount of additional pension which you earned in S2P during the period of service for which you were given credit in USS and which you will be paid directly by the Department for Work and Pensions. The exact amount of this deduction cannot be calculated until the beginning of the tax year in which you reach state pension age because the amount is revalued each year. The Trustee Company can, however, calculate the current value on request. 8

9 Small Trivial pensions Where your pension from USS is very small, it may be possible in some circumstances to fully commute this benefit. In other words, you could receive a one-off lump sum payment rather than the small pension income. You will be advised if this is an option for you. Payment of Benefits Retirement lump sums Your retirement lump sum is due on the first day following your date of retirement. You may choose either to receive a cheque posted to your home address, which will be posted in time for you to receive it on the due day, or to have the amount transferred by bank giro to a nominated bank or building society account on the due day. Please note that it may take several working days for a payment to be cleared through your account, something you may wish to check with your bank or building society. Pension payments USS pensions are paid monthly to either a bank or a building society account through the Bankers Automated Clearing Service (BACS) which is a computerised money transfer system. Each instalment will be equal to 1/12th of your annual rate of gross pension unless you retire on a date other than the last day of a month when the first instalment of pension will be calculated proportionately. Your first pension payment will be paid on the 21st of the month following retirement. It will include a proportionate payment covering the period from the first day of retirement to the last day of the month of retirement. How does this work? If you retire on 30 September, your first pension payment would normally be paid on 21 October, and would be for the full amount, representing the entire month of October. If you were to retire on 10 October, you would receive a proportionate pension payment representing the period from October, which would be paid on 21 November, along with the full pension in respect of November. Thereafter payments will continue to be made on the 21st of each month, or the last working day preceding this if this date falls on a weekend or bank holiday. Income tax will be deducted from your gross monthly pension under PAYE. If you intend to live abroad you must apply to HM Revenue & Customs for exemption from UK income tax in order to be recognised as non-resident in the UK. Exemption can be considered only after you have established permanent residence abroad. If you require further information, please contact the Trustee Company. Note: These arrangements assume the Trustee Company will be given at least five working days notice of your retirement by your employer. If we are unable to pay your lump sum within one month of its becoming due or if an instalment of pension is a month or more overdue, we will pay interest to compensate you, irrespective of who is to blame for the delay. Designed by Anthony Hodges Consulting Limited 2014_3264 This publication is for general guidance only. It is not a legal document and does not explain all situations or eventualities. USS is governed by a trust deed and rules and if there is any difference between this publication and the trust deed and rules the latter prevail. Every effort has been made to present accurate information at the date of publication and members are advised to check with their employer contact for latest information regarding the scheme, and any changes that may have occurred to its rules and benefits. 9

Retirement. This factsheet sets out the circumstances under which you may retire and receive a pension from USS.

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