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​Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Pension Reform

Universities UK represents higher education employers in discussions over the future of the USS scheme, which is a valued part of the remuneration package in higher education.

The scheme faces a number of important challenges. Universities UK is working to make the scheme sustainable while offering the very best pensions that can be afforded.  

On behalf of over 350 USS employers, UUK has been negotiating with UCU over changing the scheme since January 2017. On 12 March 2018, an agreement was reached​ at Acas between employers and union officials, which UUK is now consulting employers on. The reasons why the changes are necessary have been outlined in a blog by Universities UK Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis.

For any queries relating to the valuation – incuding how the deficit was calculated –​ please contact USS directly.

Latest information for employees and students  – 15 February 2018

Answers to five key questions scheme members are asking employers.
Information for students on the USS pension scheme, and upcoming industrial action.
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the scheme, and possible changes.​​
Updated February 2018.


Further resources​ 


Universities UK’s work on USS is overseen by the Employers’ Pensions Forum. More information on the Employers’ Pensions Forum can be found on its website.

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Parliamentary briefing: Universities Superannuation Scheme

22 February 2018
​A briefing for parliamentarians on recent negotiations related to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), explaining why changes to the scheme are needed and what the proposals mean for any of their constituents affected.

Suitability and sustainability: pensions in the higher education sector

3 August 2017
A report to consider a long-term higher education sector position on pension provision, written for the Employers Pensions Forum in collaboration with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Employers Pensions Forum report cover

Employers Pensions Forum: Self-Administered Trusts Strategy Project Report

19 September 2013
A report into the current status of Self-Administered Trusts prepared on behalf of the Employers Pensions Forum.

Pension previons report cover

Pension provision in the higher education sector: initial report

3 June 2008
Written for members of UCEA, Universities UK and GuildHE in the light of increasing concerns about the rising cost of pension provision.

Report cover

Strategic enquiry into the pension arrangements for the higher education sector

17 October 2007
The first published output of the strategic enquiry into the pensions arrangements of the higher education sector.


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.

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.


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.

The team

Mary Lambe

Mary Lambe

Senior Policy Lead - Pensions
Universities UK