Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

USS 2016 changes

The USS scheme will be changing for all members with effect from 1 April 2016. For information on what these changes will be and how they will affect you please take a look at the Scheme updates webpage.

New joiners

Staff on Grades E and above are eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme – commonly known as USS.

The Contract of Employment you will be offered before you join the University of Exeter will contain brief details regarding your pension scheme. Importantly, your Contract will inform that you will automatically be put into the pension scheme unless you opt not to join. If you do not wish to be a member of the pension scheme, you must contact the Pay and Benefits Office immediately for a USS “Opt Out” form to prevent any deductions being made from your salary.  The form will need to be completed and returned to the Pay and Benefits Office before the cut off day for payroll.

USS has two sections. The section you will join will depend on whether you have been in USS before (and have benefits accruing or frozen in the scheme) or whether you are going to be a completely new member.

Previous or current USS membership

Until March 2013 you will automatically remain in or rejoin the Final Salary section of the USS scheme. From October 2011 USS have made some changes to this scheme. One of these changes is to increase the employee contribution rate from 1 October 2011 to 7.5%. Information relating to the Final Salary section can be found on the USS web site or in the downloadable (PDF) scheme booklet.

New to USS

USS have a Career Revalued Benefits section to their scheme. The employee contribution rate for this is 6.5%. Information relating to the Final Salary section can be found on the USS web site or in the downloadable (PDF) scheme booklet.

Which section am I a member of?

The University will send to you, with your letter of appointment a leaflet about the USS scheme and which section you will join so that you know which section of USS applies to you. A copy of this can be found on the USS website

If you are about to join, or have just joined, there are a some things you should think about straight away:

  • Complete the death benefit nomination forms
  • Expression of Wish – Everyone should complete this to let USS know where any lump sum should be paid in the event of your death.
  • Registration of Potential dependant – Only complete this form if you are not married nor part of a civil partnership. This form is used to notify USS of a financial dependant who might qualify to receive the equivalent of the spouse’s pension on your death.
  • Been in USS before – if you have previous membership of USS please let us know, especially if you have just joined us from another institution. This way we can make sure that your USS records are maintained and ensure that the correct rate of employee contribution are taken from your pay. It is especially important if you were paying Additional Voluntary Contributions at your previous post as these will need to be carried on being deducted from your pay at this institution.

These forms can be found in the back of the scheme booklet (Final Salary Section scheme booklet or Career Revalued Benefits Section scheme booklet) or on the USS website

Pension input period for USS

USS have issued an announcement to scheme members regarding the pension input period for the purpose of calculating the Annual Allowance for tax purposes - see the USS website

Opting out of the scheme whilst remaining in employment

Whilst the scheme gives automatic membership, you do not have to take this up and can choose to opt out of the scheme at any time. The options upon leaving the scheme this way are the same as those if you left the employment of the University.

You can of course choose to opt back in, subject to conditions.

Further information