To get involved in the campaign, please follow and support us on social media, tell your colleagues about Divest USS and contact us via email if you want to get more actively involved (links above).
If you are a USS member, you can also take action and switch your pension to one of their ‘Ethical’ Funds, by following the instructions below.
Please note: this is not financial advice.
How to Switch the Defined Contribution (DC) part of your USS pension
There are two parts to your USS pension:
• Your DB is Defined Benefit (Retirement Income Builder), this provides a guaranteed monthly pension + lump sum which increases each year. This applies to all salary below the threshold (set at £58,589.70 for 19/20)
• You may also have a DC pot – Defined Contribution (Investment Builder). You choose how to invest it and what to do with it on retirement. This applies to salary above the threshold + any funds transferred from another pension scheme + additional voluntary contributions.
For DC investments (Investment Builder) USS have two options under the ‘Do it for me’ investments, these are (i) Default Lifestyle (ii) Ethical Lifestyle. Both Lifestyle funds are managed to gradually reduce risk as you approach your target retirement age. Factsheets are available for both options on the USS website.
For DC investments (Investment Builder) USS have 10 funds under the ‘Let Me Do it’ investments. You can choose a mix of these funds and vary them (for example from high risk/ high benchmark to low risk/ low benchmark as you near retirement). These have a range of risks and approaches (e.g. Ethical, Sharia, Equity, Bonds, Global, UK). Factsheets are available for both options on the USS website.
How to switch your DC pension to a different fund:
- Register to manage your pension online with My USS.
- Login at: www.uss.co.uk/members/login. Register first if you haven’t already done so (to register you’ll need your Pension Member Number (from a USS statement) and your NI number (find this on your payslip,where you can also see your pension contributions and check they agree with your accumulated pension).
- Click OK at the pop-up window to enter the My USS Dashboard.
- Click on the link near the top which says: ‘Update your investment choices, using the Manage my investments webform’.
- On the next screen, select ‘All’ from the dropdown box for the type of contribution, then ‘Next’.
- You can select either the ‘Do It For Me’ or ‘Let Me Do It’ investment option. Factsheets are available for each option and are worth reading before you make a decision.
- If you prefer the ‘Do it for me’ option, select the Ethical Lifestyle Fund instead of the Default Lifestyle Fund. ‘Do it for me’ means that the proportion of higher-risk investments will be decreased gradually as you get closer to your target retirement age (which you can select in the next step).
- If you prefer the ‘Let me do it’ option, select the Ethical Equity Fund. ‘Let me do it’ means that you can choose to accept a higher level of risk, which may or may not result in a higher level of growth (remember higher risk can sometimes mean worse performance). After selecting ‘Let me do it’, select ‘Switch my existing funds and future contributions’ and click ‘Next’. On the next screen, in the ‘Percentage to Invest’ column type 100% in the ‘USS Ethical Equity Fund’ box and click ‘Next’.
- On the next (and final) screen, tick the box to say ‘I have read and agree to both the terms and conditions and the important information’ and click ‘Submit’
- Relax and have a cup of tea, knowing that at least the DC part of your pension is no longer invested in fossil fuels (and please consider getting more involved in our campaign to try to persuade USS to make the DB part ethical too!)