UCU fights and wins on an extension to USS early retirement factor change

UCU fights and wins on an extension to USS early retirement factor change

The UCU Superannuation Working Group (SWG) have been engaged with USS since January 2024 regarding proposed changes to the Early Retirement Factors from 01 April 2024. Early Retirement Factors are the percentage reduction applied to a member’s pension if they retire before their Normal Pension Age (NPA). The further you are from NPA, the larger the reduction.

However, changes proposed from 01 April 2024, if implemented, would have meant a significant difference in pension entitlement between members retiring on 31 March 2024 and from 01 April 2024 onwards. Along with UUK, the SWG Negotiators met USS on a number of occasions to seek a delay to the implementation date. As per this linked USS communication, this change has now been delayed to 01 October 2024.

This delay is very much welcome and will give members considering Early Retirement the time to look at the finances of such a decision, engage their families, engage employers, and take independent financial advice. But 6-months is not long.

Given this, UCU would advise any member who is considering seeking early retirement in the next 12/18 months to take steps immediately to assess their options. It may well be that remaining in employment is the best option, but members should seriously consider all options now.

Financial Information can be obtained from Annual Pension Statements and the MyUSS portal on the USS website. We would encourage members considering early retirement to speak with family and employers now. For those members who see Early Retirement as a real option before 01 October 2024, we would suggest that members engage USS for necessary financial information before seeking independent financial advice. Members should note that UCU has a partnership arrangement with Quilter Financial –  UCU – Financial advice from Quilter Financial Advisers – who may be able to assist.

While SWG are unable to stop the changes to Early Retirement Factors, this delay is significant as it provides members the time needed to consider all options and take advice. And while they will be continuing to meet USS on Early Retirement Factors going forward, they urge members considering Early Retirement to use this time well.

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