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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Proposed USS Changes

To help you understand more about the USS Valuation Process and what it involves we ran information webinars for current and prospective members. Recordings of these webinars can be accessed here. You can also read our short Sway update which summarises important information and outlines the next steps in the proposed USS changes.

Latest Updates

30 April 2021 : Have your say on proposed changes to USS

Universities UK (UUK) is consulting the 340 employers in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) on options for reforms to the Scheme. As part of this consultation, we would like to seek the views of eligible staff (Grades 6 +) on the important issues raised. Whether you are a member of USS or not, we would value 5 minutes of your time to complete this short survey to gain your views on the future of the scheme.

The USS Trustee (the body which manages the scheme on our behalf) has recently told us that contributions will need to rise significantly to maintain current benefits (members currently contribute 9.6% of their pay, and the University pay 21.1%). It is likely that contributions will need to rise by a minimum of 11% to retain current benefits for the future. It is important to note that any benefits you have in the Scheme to the date of any further change, are safe and secure.

You can find out much more about the Scheme and the 2020 valuation via the USS website. You can also access information by visiting the USS Employers’ website or by speaking to your staff representative body or local union officers.

Universities UK (UUK) launched a consultation with employers in USS, seeking views on ways of creating a valuable, affordable, inclusive and sustainable scheme for staff for the long term. The consultation will run until 24 May 2021. Further information will follow in due course, the full UUK briefing can be read here.

The Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension has published a report on the funding challenges facing the scheme and outlining the potential increases in pensions contribution rates that it believes are required to maintain the current level of pension benefits for members.

Message from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge

“The long-term sustainability of the USS pension scheme and affordable contribution rates are vital for us as an employer and for our employee members.

“Our people are our most important asset and we want them to have pensions schemes which are financially sustainable, accessible and flexible, irrespective of the stage of their career.

“We understand this new report from the Trustee will be concerning for our staff and will give rise to many questions. We are here to listen to those questions and concerns and to help staff build a full understanding of the issues facing the USS. When Universities UK opens its consultation to university employers later this month, we will ensure that we convey our concerns about the Trustee report and press for a fair and balanced approach to securing the future of the USS.”

USS have recently held a consultations with employers on the Trustee's proposed methodology and assumptions for the scheme's technical provisions in relation to the 2020 valuation. A copy of our response can be found here.

USS continue to update their website with information and various resources regarding the 2020 valuation. The USS website includes the latest Trustee consultation on the wide range of potential outcomes to the 2020 valuation (published 7 September 2020) as well as an overview, timeline and videos relating to the valuation.

All USS sponsoring employers were asked to respond to a discussion documents released by the USS trustee, setting out the emerging thinking on the proposed methodology for the 2020 valuation and the key factors that will drive the outcome. Durham University's response can be found here.

UUK Resources

Universities UK (UUK) has produced a range of resources to help explain the proposed USS changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

UUK President, Professor Julia Buckingham, talks about the USS 2020 valuation

UUK President, Professor Julia Buckingham, talks about the USS 2020 valuation

Views: 8

In this video UUK President, Professor Julia Buckingham, provides an update on the USS 2020 valuation.

Iona Bain, Founder of Young Money Blog and Agency, and the proposed changes to USS Pensions

Iona Bain, Founder of Young Money Blog and Agency, and the proposed changes to USS Pensions

Views: 10

In this video Iona Bain, Founder of Young Money Blog and Agency, answers frequently asked questions about pensions.