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Universities Superannuation Scheme

Joining USS

There are two sections of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the Final salary section and Career Revalued Benefits section. The Career Revalued Benefits section was established on October 2011.

The Career Revalued Benefits Section is open to all new employees who:
• join USS and have not previously been a member; or
• are joining USS and were previously a member of the Career Revalued Benefits section; or
• are rejoining USS and are no longer eligible for membership of the Final salary section.

You are eligible for the Final Salary section if you:
• left USS before 1 October 2011, have deferred benefits and are rejoining before 1 April 2014; or
• left the Final Salary section after 30 September 2011 and are rejoining within 30 months of leaving.

If you are unsure which section you are eligible for please contact the pensions section at Cardiff University.

USS membership is available to new employees from grades 5 and above.  You will automatically be deemed a member of the USS pension scheme from commencement of your employment at Cardiff University.  If you have come from another USS institution and not had a break of more than a month then please contact the pensions section as there is certain paperwork needed to be produced by your previous employer.  Also, importantly if you have been paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s) at your previous post, please contact the pensions section so that all the necessary deductions continue whilst at Cardiff University.

Should you wish to opt out of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) you need to complete the “ Notice to Opt out of Pensions Saving ” form

Keeping You Updated

From time to time, the pensions section will email you invitations to USS road shows and Prudential presentations and “one to one” session with the local Prudential representative. The pensions section offers a course via Human Resources “Thorough the Pensions Maze” as part of the staff development programme.   His is a 30 minute session with the pensions administrator to discuss your personal circumstances and can be arranged by contacting the training and development co-ordinator in Human Resources.  Please note that we are not able to give any financial advice within these sessions or at any other time. It is always best to seek independent financial advice before making any decisions regarding pension matters. 

Added Year’s AVC’s - Final Salary section

This is administered by the Universities Superannuation Scheme ltd (the trustee company) and allows you to buy extra years’ and days’ service in USS, which will increase your USS, benefits (pension/lump sum, spouse’s civil partners/dependants’ pension entitlements’).  The added years AVC is part of the main scheme and is a final salary type arrangement   This means that benefits you receive are linked directly to your service and service and pensionable salary at retirement or leaving.  You can choose to pay to maximise your benefits at your normal retirement age or if you choose to retire early.  There is a limit to the contributions you can make to the added years facility of an additional 15%, over and above your normal contribution.  

Added Year’s AVC’s – Career Revalued Benefits section

This is also administered by the Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd, and allows you to buy extra benefits in USS.  You decide what you wish to pay within the 15% limit to secure extra pension and also increase your tax free lump sum.

Don’t delay

The best way to find out more about the added years AVC option is to visit the USS website and click fact sheets, and then select which section you are a member of and follow the instructions.  You can then choose the modellers and select what you wish to pay, alternatively you can contact Mrs Rebecca Douirani of the pensions team at Cardiff University on (029) 2087 49162 who would be able to help you and obtain any information that you may require on the USS AVC’s.

Money Purchase AVC’s (Prudential)

This is another option for paying extra contributions.  You can pay an extra 93.65% of your taxable pay into this AVC; the contributions are invested in fund/funds of your choice from a selection provided by Prudential.   The fund value at retirement is used to secure extra benefits either by buying an annuity and/or additional lump sum.
To obtain more information about the money purchase AVC facility please call the Universities AVC team at Prudential on 0800 515 914.  Details are also available on their website at 

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