USS pension reforms – staff information resources


October 8th, 2021

A series of resources have been published to help USS pension scheme members understand the changes that have been approved by the USS Trustee to avoid significant increases in contribution rates for members and employers:

  • a new contributions calculator developed by Universities UK shows how much more USS pension scheme members would pay each month if reforms were blocked;
  • a series of examples published by USS which show the impact of the proposed benefit changes for members on various salary levels;
  • a series of examples published by UUK showing the impact on benefits if the reforms are implemented, and the impact on members’ pay if they are not;
  • personal information sessions for staff provided by leading independent pensions management company Isio on 14 and 15 October, bookable at ussqueries2021@nottingham.ac.uk
  • a series of short videos published by the Russell Group to explain the affordability of the scheme, the commitments made by universities to underpin the scheme, and moves to reform the governance of the scheme.

A series of changes to the scheme have been approved by the USS Trustee to avoid significant increases in contribution rates for members and employers, whilst maintaining the scheme’s Defined Benefit /Defined Contribution hybrid model to provide members’ retirement incomes.

Without the changes, the USS Trustee would increase contribution rates for members by 12% in April 2022, followed by a further 17% in October 2022. This would mean a member earning £40,000 would pay an additional £860 in pension contributions in 2022 for the same benefits, with contributions set to rise further every six months until 2025.

To support the changes, university employers are making commitments to underpin the scheme’s covenant worth some £1.3 billion. Other reforms include commitments to explore alternative scheme designs, including conditional indexation; a major review of how the USS pension is governed; and the development of a flexible, low-cost option for lower paid members of staff.

Contrary to reports of cuts in member benefits of the order of 35%, figures published  by the USS Trustee show that the changes would reduce the amount of pension members receive at retirement by around 10 – 18%, (or 7 – 15% when state pension is included). All benefits earned from contributions to date are safe and will not be affected.

The changes would still provide a good pension for staff at close to current contribution levels, with employers paying in more than two and half times the average contribution rate for FTSE 100 companies.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

October 13th, 2021 at 8:22 am

Corinne Leighton

The hyperlink attached to “a series of examples published by UUK showing the impact on benefits if the reforms are implemented, and the impact on members’ pay if they are not;” isn’t working

October 13th, 2021 at 11:20 am

Cyrus M

Hi Corinne, thanks for flagging. The article has now been updated and the link to UUK examples should now take you to the correct place. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Other

Vice-Chancellor’s blog: conversations with our university community

In her latest blog, Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West welcomes our university community to the new term […]

Vice-Chancellor – staff engagement this term

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West has published plans to engage with colleagues at all levels across our […]