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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Proposed USS Changes

Archived updates and background information are available via the links on the left.

Latest Update: 8 September 2020

2020 Valuation

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.

Update: 22 June 2020

Sponsoring Employers Consultation

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.

Covid-19 Information

USS have released important information on how USS are responding to Covid-19 which can be accessed on the USS website.

Contribution Rates

Following a series of consultations relating to the scheme valuations, the USS trustee board met on 12 September 2019 and finalised the 2018 valuation in line with its proposed option 3 solution.

Contribution rates will increase as follows:

Effective date

Employer contribution rate

Member contribution rate


Current rate (since 1 October 2019)




1 October 2021




The contribution rates for October 2021 onwards are based on the outcome of the 2018 valuation and are subject to changes based on the outcome of the 2020 valuation. The animation below explains the outcome of the 2018 USS valuation further.

We fully appreciate and share the concerns of our staff regarding the impact of higher pension contributions, being committed to providing a secure, retirement income for staff. The USS remains one of the UK’s most generous large-scale pension schemes. Employers, unions, the USS Trustee and the Pensions Regulator must all now work together to ensure the longer-term sustainability, and affordability, of the scheme for all its members.

Update: 16 March 2020

Following the ballots held during September and October 2019, UCU commenced fourteen days of further strike action on Thursday 20th February 2020. UCU served statutory notice of their intention to re-ballot for industrial action in relation to the pay negotiations and USS, however on 15th March 2020 UCU announced that the re-ballots have been postponed due to Covid-19.

Update: 20 January 2020

Following the ballots held during September and October 2019, UCU commenced industrial action on Monday 28th November 2019 with eight days of strike action. UCU, UUK and USS will be holding talks during the month of January on the future of the USS pension scheme and the recommendations of the second Joint Expert Panel (JEP) report.

We will keep staff informed of any updates or developments. A copy of the all staff email sent on 15 October 2019 can be found here.

Where can I find out more?

You can use the links on the right to find out more from USS, UUK and UCU.

USS Contributions

USS Contributions

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