For Staff

USS Pension

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is currently going through a valuation process – a statutory assessment of a pension scheme’s financial health, carried out at least once every three years. Based on this, the USS Trustee (which manages the scheme) has recently announced that contributions will need to rise significantly for both members and employers on the basis of current benefits.

The scheme faces some significant challenges and we’re talking openly about these as a University community. You can read recent Inside Tracks by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk:

You may also want to refer to this glossary of key terms

To work for everyone involved, the scheme should be: 

  • Fair: so it works for and is accessible to all potential members, regardless of age, background or career stage. 
  • Valued: so everyone sees and receives the benefit of it.  
  • Sustainable: so it continues to be affordable and secure for individuals and employers. 
  • Stable: so there’s confidence in it. 
  • Portable: so it helps colleagues move freely around the sector to develop their careers. 

Consultation April-May 2021

At the moment, UUK is consulting the 340 employers in USS on options for reforms to address a sizeable deficit and to tackle an increasing high opt-out rate. Options being discussed include changes to benefit structures and contribution levels. As part of this consultation, we want to seek the views of staff eligible for USS.

If this applies to you, you’ll receive information and a link to an anonymous survey via email from Internal Comms by Tuesday 27 April 2021. If you have not received an email by 27 April, please check your clutter and junk folders for an email from Internal Comms sent between 15:35 and 16:05 on Monday 26 April 2021.

Leeds conversations events (Feb – March 2021)

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Hai-Sui Yu were joined by Mark Taylor-Batty, University of Leeds UCU Pension officer, in three live events organised to share a summary of negotiations and decisions to date and perspectives on the issues faced by the scheme.

Recording: Leeds conversations event from Tuesday 23 February (captions available)


Find out more

We share public information and links to other sources of information on this page and key information is also highlighted via the all staff eNews.

Member communications and documents are produced and provided by USS itself.

USS (runs the pension scheme)

UCU (represents scheme members)

UUK (represents scheme employers)

Your pension

If you have any specific questions relating to your pension scheme please contact the Pensions and Benefits team

USS Latest News

Inside track | USS – themes from the school events

Vice-Chancellor Simone Buitendijk shares her reflections on the common themes raised by colleagues about the scheme challenges at her recent school visits.

Inside Track | USS – a sense of community can help unlock a solution

Vice-Chancellor Simone Buitendijk explains why something must change with the USS pension and encourages colleagues eligible for the scheme to share their views on it through a survey open until 7 May

USS: Russell Group asks Pension Regulator to release information about its concerns

A letter published this week asks the regulator to release information about any concerns it has expressed to USS Trustees about the pension scheme's recent valuation.

USS: UUK urges USS Trustee to reconsider high prices

UUK, on behalf of 340 USS employers, has written to the USS Trustee, urging it to review its decision to set very high prices to maintain current benefits.

USS Trustee: “pension contributions will need to rise sharply if existing benefits are to be maintained”

The USS Trustee has published a 2020 valuation update about the funding challenges facing the scheme. Universities UK has published a response on behalf of USS employers.

Leeds conversations: USS pension scheme recording available

If you missed the first of our sessions on the USS pension scheme valuation, a recording of the presentation is now available.

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