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USS pensions latest news

Durham University consultation response

Published 22 September 2023

The response that Durham University has submitted to the consultation including an addendum stating the position of the local DUCU branch committee can be accessed here: Durham University USS Technical Provisions response July 2023.

USS consults on assumptions that would lead to significantly lower contribution rates

Published 19 July 2023

USS has today launched a consultation with Universities UK (UUK) on the trustee’s proposed funding assumptions and methodology for the scheme’s 2023 actuarial valuation and on the Statement of Funding Principles. Read the full statement.. The valuation process itself will run into 2024 as set out in the valuation timeline previously published.

UUK/UCU joint statement on USS benefit restoration

Published 15 March 2023

Universities UK (UUK) and University and College Union (UCU) have issued a joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration toward USS benefit restoration. Read full statement

They reiterate a shared agreement to a scheme governance review. Negotiations continue to be constructive.

Interim joint statement by Universities UK (UUK) and UCU with respect to the USS dispute

Published 17 February 2023

The latest information provided by the USS Trustee suggests that the forthcoming 2023 valuation is likely to reveal a high probability of being able to improve benefits and reduce contributions. Should this be confirmed, this would allow for a return to a comparable level of future benefits as existed before the April 2022 changes, as well as achieve a reduction in costs for members and employers. Read full statement from Universities UK and UCU.


January 2023

  • 24 January 2023: Universities UK releases a statement as further UCU strike action dates are announced:

    A spokesperson for Universities UK, on behalf of USS employers said: "We are disappointed to see these new plans for strike action from the UCU. Students can be confident that universities’ top priority will be to protect their learning and ensure they can continue with their education. Industrial action already faced in recent years means universities are well prepared to manage pockets of disruption and will work hard to put in place a series of measures to ensure students do not miss out on the opportunity to learn.

    “At the same time, we will continue to work towards an agreement, as far as it is possible to do so, in the interests of all our staff. We share the goal of a secure, valuable, and affordable retirement income for university staff – it is only through their work that universities are able to carry out their world-leading teaching and research. We continue to meet regularly with union and USS representatives and are already working with UCU ahead of the next valuation which is due to start in March.  

    “Only around one in ten of those in the USS pension scheme voted to take strike action and it is important to remember that USS pensions remain among the most generous in the private sector. Employer payments have risen to 21.6% of salary, which is far higher than most other schemes. It is also important to remember the significant financial pressures facing universities, something likely to worsen with high inflation and a fee freeze which has been in place since 2017.

  • 13 January 2023: Universities UK responds to the announcement of further UCU industrial action. In the statement, UUK state that they expect disruption to be limited in most universities, and will continue to work towards an agreement.

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

  • 5 July 2022: Universities UK has started a consultation with employers on plans to carry out a review of the governance of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) with independent expertise. 

May 2022

  • 25 May 2022: A joint letter has been sent to Universities UK (UUK) from Professor Karen O'Brien, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University and Dr Sol Gamsu, President of Durham UCU. This identifies a number of areas where the University and DUCU have common ground and shared interests regarding USS. Read joint VC and DUCU letter and Joint pension statement May 2022.
  • 20 May 2022: Offer accepted to end industrial action at Durham.
  • 13 May 2022: Durham University and Durham UCU agree a joint statement on the future of the University Superannuation Scheme pension: Joint pension statement May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

  • 26 January 2022: UUK responds to UCU's new pension proposal. Read full statement.
  • 26 January 2022: UCU has submitted a series of new proposals, which the union says offer a "way out" of disruptive industrial action. More details can be found here.
  • 17 January 2022: The employer consultation with affected employees on proposed changes to USS closed on Monday 17 January 2022. The USS Trustee Board and the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) will now consider all responses received, and decide whether any adjustments should be made to the proposals based upon the feedback