There are two parts to your pension – your Retirement Income Builder benefits and your Investment Builder savings.
You automatically join the Retirement Income Builder when you become a member. This is the defined benefit (DB) part of USS. It provides you with a guaranteed income for life when you retire based on how long you’ve been paying in and your salary up to a threshold.
You also get a one-off, cash lump sum (which is tax-free up to a limit), plus life cover (while you’re paying in) and ill health benefits.
The Investment Builder is the defined contribution (DC) part of USS. It gives you flexibility, build up savings on top of your guaranteed income. You’ll be in this part as well if you earn over the salary threshold, have transferred other pension savings in to USS since October 2016, or you’ve made additional contributions.
What you get will depend on what you’d like to access – whether it’s your Retirement Income Builder benefits, your Investment Builder savings, or both.