Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is one of the largest principal private pension schemes for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. Universities UK (UUK), who represent over 350 USS employers, has been negotiating with the University and College Union (UCU), who represent the scheme members, over changing the scheme since January 2017 given the funding challenges it faces. You can find out more about the parties involved on our glossary page.

We are acutely aware of the strength of feeling on the ongoing pensions uncertainty and the impact it is having on our community. We are listening to your views, and your input has played an important role in shaping the College’s response to the situation to date. We will continue to work with you on an overall College remuneration package that is fair and sustainable. 

2020 valuation

UUK employers' consultation

UUK’s consultation with employers launched on Wednesday 7 April and will run until Monday 24 May. The UUK consultation asks employers to respond to questions about how much we are willing to pay both now and in the future for what benefits. You can view the full list of consultation questions on our webpage. 

The UUK consultation is an important mechanism through which we can convey the strength of feeling amongst our community. So, please do send your thoughts on how we should respond to the consultation to provost@imperial.ac.uk by Friday 7 May. We will share our draft response with you once it has been prepared. 

Valuation report

On Wednesday 3 March 2021 USS published a comprehensive update from the USS TrusteeThe valuation report sets out three scenarios showing the increase in contribution rates that would be needed to maintain the current pension benefits, depending on the covenant support measures employers feel able to support.  

The position it sets out is extremely disappointing. Every scenario presents a significant increase in costs for employees as well as for employers – with total contribution rates of 42.1%, 49.6%, and or 56.2% of salary – compared to the current contribution rate of 30.7% of salary. Even the most favourable option would be unaffordable and unsustainable for all of us.

The Joint Negotiating Committee has three months to decide how the increase in the overall contribution rate is to be met: by recommending changes to the structure of the Scheme’s contributions and/or benefits

The valuation process will take several months to complete, and so it is likely that the contribution increases scheduled for October 2021 (to 11% for employees and 23.7% for employers) will come into force. 

Accessible documents

Some of the downloadable documents linked to on this page are not accessible. For accessible versions, please contact hrpolicyandreward@imperial.ac.uk.