Important Changes to Your Pension

Important changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will take place from 1 April 2016.

If you are enrolled in this scheme you should have received information in January of this year that USS, in common with many other pension schemes, was running a substantial deficit. To address this discussions and negotiations have taken place between employer and member representatives.

I wanted to let you know what has been agreed and what this means for you.  

What is changing?

For full details of the changes please visit Changes to USS.

Currently USS provides two forms of defined benefit pension - Final Salary and Career Revalued Benefits (CRB). Both provide a pension which is linked to earnings.  

Final Salary provision will come to an end on 31 March 2016. It is important to make clear that benefits earned up to that date, including any benefits gained from transfers in and any added years Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), are protected.

In future USS will provide defined benefit pensions on a Career Revalued basis, alongside a new defined contribution section.

Defined contribution is a different kind of pension scheme for members to save for retirement.  The amount received from the defined contribution section will be based on the amount of money you have built up in your pension pot based on your own contributions, those paid in by the University and any investment growth.

Current CRB members will also move into the new USS structure and will continue to build up their pension on an improved Career Revalued Benefits basis as described below. Again, benefits already earned are protected.

What does it mean for you?

The new USS will be introduced in phases from 1 April 2016. The key features, once fully implemented, will be:

  1. Career Revalued Benefits (CRB) for all members on salary up to £55,000. Pension will be built up based on 1/75th of salary per year.  The lump sum will be 3/75ths of salary. This is a change from the current basis of pension being built up based on 1/80th of salary per year and the lump sum being 3/80ths of salary.
  2. Defined contribution section for members based on salary above £55,000.
  3. An option for all members to make additional contributions to the defined contribution section of the scheme and to claim an additional ‘matched’ 1% from the employer contributions, provided the member contributes an additional 1%.

What will this cost to me, and to the University?

To fund the changes to the USS, and to ensure that your pension will continue to be one of the most generous in the public sector, your contributions will rise from 7.5% (Final Salary members) or 6.5% (CRB members) to 8% of your salary. The university will also pay more, contributing 18% of what you earn to your pension.

I appreciate that there is a lot of information to digest, and would urge you to look carefully at the changes and what they will mean for you.

We will continue to send out updates through Campus E News, but please do look at our website which has more detailed information at

If you have any questions or points you want clarified, email or, for specific matters related to your own pension arrangements, contact

Thank you

Christine Barr

Director of Human Resources

First published: 7 September 2015