USS is now under attack

  • The employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits.
  • They say your final pension should depend on how your 'investments' perform and not on your contributions.
  • We say it's wrong to risk our members' futures.

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Retirement benefits

A rundown of the retirement benefits of USS and TPS.

Teachers' Pension Scheme

Pre 2007 scheme

  • A member may retire at age 60 with an immediate unreduced pension (ie 1/80th of pensionable salary for each year of pensionable service). Sixty is the normal retirement age of the scheme.
  • A member may retire at age 55-59 if the employment is terminated on redundancy or efficiency grounds and the employer buys-out the actuarial reduction which would otherwise be applied.
  • A member with minimum service qualifications (normally two years service, never more than five) may retire at age 55-59 with an actuarially reduced pension.
  • A member with minimum service qualification over the age of 55 years, can with their employers agreement opt for phased retirement, this means that the member has taken a cut of 25% of salary for at least one year and then they can claim up to 75% of their pension pot, and the remained is tied to their new service.
  • Members with deferred pension rights will receive their pension in full from age 60 or on application between their 55th and 60th birthdays an actuarially reduced pension.
  • A lump sum payment, normally three times the initial rate of pension, is payable when pension payments begin.
  • The pension is index-linked from age 55; an actuarial reduction, where applicable, will normally be about 6% for each year in retirement before normal retirement age.

Post 2007 scheme

  • A member may retire at age 65 with an immediate unreduced pension (ie 1/60th of final average salary time pensionable service).
  • A member may retire from age 55 years if the employment is terminated on redundancy or efficiency grounds and the employer chooses to use their discretion and buy out the actuarially reduced pension.
  • A member with minimum service qualifications (normally two years service, never more than five) may retire at age 55-59 with an actuarially reduced pension.
  • A member with minimum service qualification over the age of 55 years, can with their employers agreement opt for phased retirement, this means that the member has taken a cut of 25% of salary for at least one year and then they can claim up to 75% of their pension pot, and the remained is tied to their new service.
  • Members with deferred pension rights will receive their pension in full from age 65 or on application before this this date as an actuarially reduced pension
  • All members of TP can examine their pension accounts via the website www.teacherspensions.co.uk and follow the 'My Pension Online' link; you will need your national insurance number and teachers reference number if you have one. TP will only reply to you via this secure link.

Post 2015 scheme

Members in the new scheme have a pensionable age tied to the state pension age and can only draw this part of their pension unreduced when they reach that age.

If they are not in service they can draw their pre 2007 pension at age 60 years of age unreduced and leave their post 2015 pension until state pension age. Alternatively they can draw both together and the post 2015 pension will be actuarially reduced.

They could if they were still in service draw their pre 2007 pension under phased retirement unreduced and continue to work but they have to take a drop of at least 20% of earnings for a full 365 days to be able to do this.

Further information

TPS: Retirement Planning

Members can use the calculator to find out their pension entitlement or the affect of ARB actuarial reduced benefit section on the TPS website, as well as the commutation of the lump sum to 25% of their pension pot.

Universities' Superannuation Scheme

  • A member who was 55 years or more on October 2011 with five years' pensionable service may retire at their contractual age of 60 years or ask their employer to let them retire from age 60 years onwards without any reduction of pension.
  • A member may retire at the normal retirement age for the scheme is 65. An unreduced pension is 1/80 of pensionable salary for each year of pensionable service.

  • A member may retire before their pension age but the pension will be subject to actuarial reduction depending on the timing of their service build from age 55 years onwards.

  • A member with five years' pensionable service and is over 55 years of age or has protected rights may retire without pension reduction if they do so on grounds of redundancy, at the point of redundancy or later as long as they are not re-employed by an institution covered by USS. The employer has to pay the cost of the early release to the scheme, this remains in place until October 2014.. Non renewal of fixed term contract is a redundancy and a member if they wish can claim their pension without reduction. But a request on severance which the employer could enforce by dismissal for good cause does not count for these purposes. There may be a reduction if a transfer-in has occurred within the previous seven years.

  • A member who defers retirement until after their normal pension age will normally receive an enhanced pension, payment must begin at age 75.

  • A lump sum payment, normally three times the initial rate of pension, is payable when pension payments begin.

  • The pension is index-linked from age 55; an actuarial reduction, where applicable, will normally be about 6% for each year in retirement before normal retirement age.

Post 2016 scheme

This pension scheme is tied to state pension and if a member draws their pension before this it will be actuarially reduced unless the employer has agreed to buy out the reduction.

Further information

USS - retirement factsheet (.pdf)

Last updated: 27 April 2016