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Press Release

USS signposts its members to LifeSight for Drawdown provision

November 16, 2021


LONDON, November 16 2021 – The Trustee of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has decided to signpost its members to LifeSight, which offers drawdown services. USS members who wish to access their benefits through drawdown will be able to transfer their funds directly into a LifeSight drawdown account.

USS has over 470,000 scheme members in total, with assets under management (AuM) of more than £80bn, making it the largest private pension scheme in the UK by assets under management. There are around 90,000 members with DC savings, equating to £1.6bn of AuM. In 2020-21 USS members retired with DC savings totalling £52 million.

USS is also classified as a master trust, as it provides pension savings to employees of many different universities. This is therefore believed to be the first time that a UK master trust has appointed another master trust to provide services to its members.

Helen McEwan, Chief Pensions Officer, USS, said: “As the largest private pension scheme by assets under management in the country we are always looking for ways to improve the experience and services available to our members. Signposting members to a drawdown provision as part of a balanced range of retirement options is an important part of the USS retirement experience.”

“We have an in-house team who conducted a thorough review of the master trust market and we were very impressed with LifeSight, from the transparency and access provided by the management team to the independent governance provided by its trustee board. Its investment operations, its commitment to ESG and the online experience and tools available to members were particular strengths that we identified.”

We are so proud that USS is signposting members to LifeSight’s drawdown services.”

Fiona Matthews
Managing Director, LifeSight

Fiona Matthews, Managing Director of LifeSight said: “We are so proud that USS is signposting members to LifeSight’s drawdown services. There are 38 master trusts in the UK and when one decides to appoint another to provide member services it shows how this market is evolving and maturing. The USS trustee was very thorough in its due diligence and, once again, LifeSight’s independent Trustee board and market leading member experience was a differentiating factor in this competitive market.”

Jane Platt, Chair of the LifeSight Trustee Board said: “We’ve worked closely with the USS team to make sure that they are fully satisfied that LifeSight can provide a high-quality member experience with thorough independent governance. The LifeSight Trustees are very pleased to welcome USS members to our drawdown service.”

Alongside other recent wins being implemented, LifeSight has around 245,000 members and £12bn of AuM.

Earlier this year, as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainable investing, LifeSight committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all its default funds by 2050 at the latest, with at least a 50% reduction by 2030. Its commitment to net zero covers all its Defaults, which represent the vast majority of its total assets under management.

About USS

Universities Superannuation Scheme (the “Scheme”) was established in 1974 as the principal pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. It has more than 475,000 members across 340 institutions and is one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, with total fund assets of £82.2 billion (as at 31 March 2021).

The Scheme's trustee is Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, a corporate trustee which provides scheme management and trusteeship from its offices based in Liverpool and London in the UK. The trustee company delegates implementation of its investment strategy to a wholly owned investment management subsidiary company - USS Investment Management Limited - which provides in-house investment management and advisory services.

For more information on Universities Superannuation Scheme please go to

About LifeSight

LifeSight is Willis Towers Watson’s master trust, a defined contribution multi-employer pension trust for employers who would benefit from high-quality, low-risk, market-competitive pension provision without the governance burden.

Running a defined contribution pension scheme is becoming complex and costly for a lot of employers. Governance is growing ever more onerous and schemes now have the new pension flexibilities to contend with. Companies have struggled to find a high-quality alternative that has their employees’ needs at heart. LifeSight offers the best attributes of a trust in an outsourced arrangement. Our unique solution looks after the day-to-day running of the scheme, whilst an independent trustee board looks after the interests of your members.

LifeSight gives you access to our leading-edge digitalised platform, including the award-winning ageOmeter tool, and administration services. Combined with our proven expertise in investments and communications, LifeSight is the complete package.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas – the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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