Home > Policy and analysis > Pensions


Older people doing tai chi

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 proposed changes​ to the scheme. ​The reasons why the changes are necessary ​have been outlined in a blog by Universities UK Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis.


Further resources​ 

Information every employee should know about the current position ​of USS​.
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the scheme, and possible changes.​

Modelling of UUK’s proposed USS benefit changes​

This modelling, completed by Aon Hewitt, illustrates the potential impact of UUK’s proposals on employees. This is initial modelling and does not part of any consultation with scheme members.  It is important to stress that any decisions to change USS pension benefits will be subject to consultation with scheme members in early 2018. There can be no changes to the pension rights that members have already earned, both under the USS rules and under pensions law.​​



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.


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.


Employers propose reforms to ensure USS pension scheme remains sustainable and attractive to members

17 November 2017
Higher education employers are proposing changes to the USS pension scheme to address the scheme's deficit and the significant rise in the cost of future pensions.

Older people doing tai chi

Statement on USS pension reform proposal following JNC decision

29 December 2015
We are pleased that the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) has put forward a reform proposal to the USS Trustee Board to address the scheme’s substantial deficit.


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

Rosalind Lowe

Rosalind Lowe

Policy Researcher
Universities UK