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Universities Superannuation Scheme

Founded in 1974, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is the second largest private pension scheme in the UK.

USS is a centralised defined benefit scheme offering final salary and career revalued benefits to employers in the HE sector; the vast majority of UK HEIs are members of the scheme, as are sector bodies such as Universities UK and UCEA. 

A full list of participating bodies can be found on the USS website

The numbers of individual members varies from HEI to HEI, though the bulk of members are academic and academic related staff in the pre-92 universities. The USS is administered from its head office in Liverpool and its board of twelve directors are drawn from the sector:

  • Four of the directors on the board of the trustee company are appointed by Universities UK (UUK).
  • Three directors are appointed by the UCU of whom at least one must be a USS pensioner member.
  • One director is appointed by the Funding Councils.
  • A minimum of two and a maximum of four directors are co-opted directors, appointed by the board.

Full details of the structure of USS can be found on the website

Information about USS review

A USS Joint Review Group was established at the end of 2008 to undertake a review to determine what changes should be made to USS to ensure that it remains an attractive and affordable defined benefit pension scheme, and one that will continue to be an integral part of the remuneration package to help recruit and retain high quality staff for Higher Education on an ongoing, sustainable basis.

The group comprises representatives from the Employers’ Pension Forum (representing USS employers) and UCU (representing USS members). The group has an independent chairman, Sir Andrew Cubie, who was jointly appointed by the Employers’ Pension Forum and UCU.

For more details about the review visit the USS website