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.

In April-May 2021, UUK consulted 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. More than 1000 eligible Leeds staff responded to a recent survey about aspects of the scheme – thank you. The University Council’s response to the UUK consultation was submitted in May 2021.

Watch | Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk expresses thanks and looks ahead to the next steps (captioned)

What happens next?

  • UUK will reflect on the views expressed in the consultation before deciding with representatives of UCU – in the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) – how to meet the challenges posed by the valuation. These decisions will relate to the future benefits offered by the scheme and the level of contributions made by employers and members. 
  • A period of member consultation will follow during autumn 2021.

You can also refer to:

Our principles 

To work for everyone involved, we believe 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. 

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

Please rest assured that any pension benefits you already have in the scheme, to the date of any further scheme change, are safe and secure. Discussions about the future of the scheme relate to pensions yet to be built up. 

USS Latest News

USS: Universities UK questions and answers

Universities UK (UUK) has published a Q&A relating to the latest USS pension developments.

USS pension: recent developments

Subject to the necessary consultation exercises, the USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and USS Trustee have accepted the employers’ proposal for scheme changes.

USS: University Council’s response to a further short consultation

University Council has responded to Universities UK's (UUK) USS pension consultation on covenant support.

University Council’s response to UUK consultation on USS

The University has today published its response to a Universities UK (UUK) consultation with employers about possible solutions to challenges faced by the USS pension scheme.

Watch | VC Simone Buitendijk expresses thanks and looks ahead to the next steps for USS

More than 1000 eligible Leeds staff responded to a recent survey about aspects of the USS pension scheme and Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk expresses her thanks in a new video.

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.

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