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USS pension update

03 Mar 2021

Publication of Universities Superannuation Scheme 2020 valuation

Dear colleagues,

We know how valuable USS is to our colleagues and how important it is that the scheme is attractive and affordable to all members. The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has now published its 2020 valuation, which is used as the basis for negotiations on how much employees and employers will pay in contributions and/or how benefits to members may have to change.

This latest valuation is significantly worse than the previous one in 2018.  The upper end of the pricing range is now around 56% of salary and the lower end circa 42%. The current rate is 30.7% (21.1% paid by employers and 9.6% paid by employees). Universities UK (UUK), representing the 340 employers in the scheme, has called for “a stronger and clearer justification from the USS Trustee for the very high pricing decisions. Without this justification, employers and scheme members will be concerned that the scheme is facing an unnecessary level of reform”.

You can read the initial responses from Universities UK and the Russell Group in full.

While this is very disappointing news, our University will continue to seek to provide a quality pension scheme for our employees that is sustainable and affordable, as part of our overall benefits package. Negotiations will be carried out on behalf of all 340 employers by Universities UK – our University is unable to act alone.

These negotiations will continue throughout this year and we have published a timeline to help colleagues see the important milestones in the months ahead. The timetable currently requires an increase to contributions from 1 October with further changes possible as progress is made with the 2020 valuation.

The next step is for Universities UK to seek the views of employers to inform its negotiating position.  We will be submitting our views and will publish these on StaffNet.

We will continue to keep you informed of any developments and provide opportunities for you to ask questions.

Karen Heaton

Director of Human Resources

Further information