USS reform | University of Oxford

USS reform

This site provides information about the reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) following the 2014 actuarial valuation. The benefit changes were introduced in phases from 1 April 2016.

Changes are being made to the benefits provided by USS, as well as the contribution levels payable by members and employers, in order to address the pension scheme’s funding deficit. The recent formal triennial valuation of the pension scheme’s assets and liabilities showed that, as at 31 March 2014, the deficit stood at approximately £13 billion, based on current benefit arrangements and the USS trustee’s initial proposed assumptions.

Proposal for reform
In January 2015 a joint proposal for reform of the pension scheme was agreed by the USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), which comprises equal numbers of representatives of Universities UK (for the employers) and the University and College Union. The proposal was the result of over a year of discussions between USS, the 370 employers who use the scheme, and the UCU. Further information about these negotiations, to which the University of Oxford contributed via a working group set up by Council, can be found on the Employers' consultation 2014 website.

The University carried out a consultation of current members and eligible non-members of USS on the proposal for reform between March and May 2015. 90 responses were received from Oxford staff and submitted to USS, together with a commentary for USS written by the University in conjunction with the Oxford UCU. In light of the responses received to the consultation, the employer and member representatives within the JNC agreed some modifications to the proposals.

Further information
•    The benefits illustrator is available on the USS website at
•    For general queries about USS, contact the Pensions Office at or on (6)16067.

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