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For definitions of terms used on these pages, see this glossary.

Latest update on USS

28 May 2021

  • The University has published its response to a recent UUK employer consultation
  • Our response suggests the best way forward would be to commence work quickly on conditional indexation or another risk- and reward-sharing alternative scheme structure
  • Unfortunately we have heard from the USS Trustee that, while there is interest in exploring this option, it would take too long to be viable as a solution for the 2020 valuation
  • UUK will now evaluate all the employer responses to see if it can table a formal proposal in negotiations with UCU, the member representative.
  • Formal negotiations via USS’s Joint Negotiating Committee are scheduled to end in August this year but the statutory completion of the valuation will take longer, and it is likely that USS will increase contributions in October.

 Read the full story

See all University statements on the 2020 valuation

Members of USS will be notified of relevant news about the scheme in the USS bulletin, an occasional e-bulletin produced by the University to which all USS members at Cambridge are automatically subscribed. The University also holds periodic open meetings to discuss developments with USS: you can view recordings of previous meetings (Raven login required).

About USS

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is a pension scheme for the UK university sector. A large number of staff at the University and Cambridge Assessment are members of USS. You can read more about the benefits provided by the pension scheme on the USS website.

USS is required by law to undertake a valuation – essentially an assessment of its overall financial health – every three years. The pensions regulator expects these to be completed within a certain time period. The last two valuations have been contentious, with the three main parties involved – the USS trustee, UCU, which represents members, and UUK, which represents employers – struggling to reach agreement on how the valuation should be conducted and the level of contributions required to maintain existing benefits.  

Valuations in 2017 and 2018 projected large deficits for the scheme, with member and employer contributions rising – from 8% and 18% respectively in 2017 to 9.6% and 21.1% respectively since 1 October 2019. Benefits have remain largely unchanged.   

As part of the resolution to the disputed 2018 valuation, a further valuation as at 31 March 2020 was proposed and the 2020 valuation is now in progress.  

2017 and 2018 valuations

Articles about the 2017 and 2018 valuations that used to be on this page have been archived at the links below: