Home > News and blog > Agreement reached in USS pension talks

Agreement reached in USS pension talks

12 March 2018

An agreement has been reached between Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU) under the auspices of Acas following six days of talks.

UUK is now consulting with Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) employers about a revised mandate for a forthcoming Joint Negotiating Committee on Wednesday 14 March.


  1. USS is one of the largest private pension schemes in the UK and is the principal scheme for academic and comparable staff in UK universities and other higher education and research institutions. Universities UK is representing the views of more than 350 higher education employers on USS reform proposals.

  2. USS has a £6.1 billion deficit and a significant increase in the cost of future defined pension benefits of more than one third since 2014.  A plan to reduce this must be submitted to the Pensions Regulator by 30 June.

  3. USS is governed by a cle​ar set of scheme rules. The Joint Negotiating Committee decided upon benefit reform changes on 23 January 2018. The JNC brings together an equal number of representatives from Universities UK and the University and College Union. The JNC has an independent chair who oversees discussions between employer and member representatives, and can choose to cast a deciding vote if agreement between both parties cannot be reached.

  4. Talks between UUK and UCU began at Acas on Monday 5 March 2018 following discussions that started in January 2017.​

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


Pensions – the importance of getting it right

3 October 2017
UUK's Chief Executive, Alistair Jarvis, sets out his analysis of the way in which the Universities Superannuation Scheme needs to react to recent concerns.

Addressing the university pension fund deficit

2 August 2017
Following the news coverage on the USS pensions fund deficit, Professor Koen Lamberts discusses the challenges facing the scheme.


Universities UK planning more talks with UCU to end pensions dispute

14 March 2018
Following the University and College Union’s (UCU) rejection of the proposals jointly agreed at ACAS this week, Universities UK is planning more, urgent talks with UCU to end the dispute.

Universities UK calls on UCU to suspend Industrial Action

8 March 2018
UUK has again restated its request to the union that industrial action is suspended while talks at ACAS continue