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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. A copy of the all staff email sent on 15 October 2019 can be found here.

Latest 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.

Update: 20 September 2019

A series of consultations relating to the scheme valuations has been held over the last 18 months. 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 April 2019)




1 October 2019




The contribution rates implemented on 1 October 2019 will be in place for 2 years, with higher rates expected thereafter, subject to 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.

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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