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USS pension scheme consultation opens Monday, 1 November

28 Oct 2021

Employers’ consultation on USS to open Monday, 1 November – with further information to help affected colleagues now available on the consultation website and modelling tools available from Monday, 1 November

John Owens

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) members and colleagues who are eligible to be members of the pension scheme are invited to have their say on changes to the scheme in a members consultation.

The consultation will open on Monday, 1 November 2021 and close at 5pm on Monday, 17 January 2022.

It will allow all affected employees to give their views on proposed changes to USS, most of which would take effect from 1 April 2022, if implemented. Any views you give via the consultation website will be anonymous.

The consultation website – open from Thursday, 28 October – includes further infomation with a modelling tool which will be available from Monday, 1 November so that you can properly research your position.

It is important to remember that your pension built up to date is secure and won’t be changed.

This consultation seeks comments from you on:

  • the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC)’s recommended package of benefit changes and
  • the alternative contribution rates which will take effect from 1 April 2022 if the changes recommended by the JNC are not implemented before then.

All responses received during the consultation period will be considered before any final decision is made and implemented. The final decision will be communicated to you in February 2022 and changes will be made no earlier than 1 April 2022.

Summary of JNC’s proposed changes

  • Members’ contributions will remain at their current level introduced from 1 October 2021, of 9.8% of salary. Employers’ contributions will remain at 21.4% of salary.
  • From 1 April 2022, each year members will build up a pension in the USS Retirement Income Builder, the defined benefit section of USS, at a lower rate of 1/85 of salary compared to the current 1/75 of salary, and a separate lump sum of 3/85 rather than 3/75, up to the Salary Threshold.
  • From 1 April 2022, the Salary Threshold in the defined benefit section will reduce from £59,883.65 to £40,000.
  • From 1 April 2023, the Salary Threshold will continue to increase annually but subject to a lower maximum increase of 2.5% a year until 31 March 2025 or if earlier, the date of any change concluded by a review by the JNC of the amount of the Salary Threshold.
  • Benefits earned in the Retirement Income Builder from 1 April 2022 will continue to see increases applied annually before and after members retire, but subject to a lower maximum of 2.5% a year.
  • From 1 April 2022, there will be improved benefits for those who are members of USS for a short period (more than three months but less than two years).

What if changes are not implemented?

In the absence of the JNC’s (or other) proposed changes being executed by 28 February 2022, there is a proposed fall-back position, where contribution rates will increase every six months from 1 April 2022.

In the fall-back position the increase would be from the October 2021 levels of 9.8% to 18.8% of salary for members by 1 October 2025. For employers, the increase would be from 21.4% to 38.2%.

A detailed breakdown of contributions is tabled below and you can use the USS Employers contributions calculator to see how these increases will affect you.

Members (% of salary)     Employers (% of salary)    
From 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022         11.0% 23.7%
From 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023 12.9% 27.1%
From 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023 13.9% 29.1%
From 1 October 2023 to 31 March 2024 15.0% 31.0%
From 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024 16.0% 33.0%
From 1 October 2024 to 31 March 2025 17.1% 34.9%
From 1 April 2025 to 30 September 2025 18.1% 36.9%
From 1 October 2025 onwards 18.8% 38.2%

Your next steps

  1. Read more about the proposals on the notice of statutory consultation document and available on the consultation website from Thursday, 28 October.
  2. Use the modelling tools from Monday, 1 November on the consultation website to understand how the changes could impact you.
  3. Give your views on the proposals before 5pm on Monday, 17 January 2022 so your voice is heard. You can do this from 9am on 1 November by following the login process on the consultation website. Any views you give on the website will be anonymous – we will not be able to identify you in your response.

Further information

You can read the full statutory notice of the consultation at:

Our pensions news page includes a summary of all the latest updates and information, a contributions calculator to see how the changes will affect you, the results of an employer consultation and a glossary of terms.

Or you can visit: