Universities' Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Key benefits and contribution rates

  • Employer contribution equal to 21.1% of your salary, while you pay 9.6%
  • 3 times basic salary payable in the event of member's death in service
  • Incapacity benefits cover if you become unable to work

Joining the pension

Eligible staff are automatically enrolled.

You receive a welcome pack (also known as a membership certificate) in the post shortly after you join the scheme.

Visit the USS website for all information including joining, amendment and leaving the scheme.

Managing your USS pension

Log in to your USS account to get access to your personal pension status and:

  • view your current valuation
  • manage your contributions
  • manage your investments
  • update any changes in your personal details (e.g. home address). All correspondence will be made via this address, so it is very important that you keep this updated.
  • amend your target retirement date
  • use tools and calculators to make pension estimations
  • nominate your beneficiary in the event of your death

Contact USS if you would prefer to phone or write or need support in accessing the online pension portal.

Absences and your pension

Unpaid leave

Contact Pensions if you wish to maintain your pension contribution during your unpaid leave. 


Pension contributions

Your pension will be deducted based on your full pay for 39 weeks.

Contact Pensions if you wish to maintain your pension contributions during the period of unpaid maternity leave.

Salary sacrifice

For salary sacrifice, the amount exchanged will be based on your full pay. 

Get a retirement quote

Contact USS to request a retirement quote

Leaving the University

Your contributions will stop, but your pension pot will remain invested.

You can still access your pension details via the USS online pension portal. This will include details of how to transfer and manage your funds.

If you are an overseas national and intend to leave the UK at the end of your University employment, the pension arrangements are exactly the same and at the end of your university employment, the pension can be transferred out to any UK recognised overseas pension scheme.

Please check and ensure that USS have your current contact address and details.

Taking retirement

Contact Pensions when your retirement has been confirmed in writing by HR.

USS requires at least 3 months notice to help ensure that your pension payments start on time.

The University will stop further contributions once your retirement has been processed by HR.

Further information is available about accessing your pension benefits and the options for flexible retirement.

USS support for members

USS have released a series of bite sized videos and animations for members on a range of popular topics, including:

  • your investment choices
  • an overview of USS
  • your retirement options
  • an introduction to pensions
  • what happens when you leave USS?
  • what happens when you join USS?
  • an overview of pension tax



Access the USS dedicated COVID-19 support page. 

Helen McEwan, Chief Pensions Officer and Mel Duffield, Director of Engagement – Valuation 2020, have recorded video messages for members in place of the webinars that we had planned. Helen explains how USS are responding operationally to the challenges presented by social distancing while Mel talks about the impact of COVID-19 on scheme funding and the valuation as at 31 March 2020.

Changes to state pension age

On 6 October 2020 the state pension age (SPA) will increase from 65 to 66 which means that the USS normal pension age (NPA) will also increase to 66.

Factors for late retirements and conversion of lump sum to pension will also be changing from October.

In June USS will update their systems to produce quotes to reflect these changes.

USS will shortly start including a note in retirement quotes for members who are retiring after 1 October advising them of this change so that they can, should they wish, request a new quotation after June 2020. Members who choose to request a new quotation should request these in the normal way.

From October 2020 members will accrue USS Retirement Income Builder benefits in a new tranche that has an NPA of 66; the NPA for members that leave the scheme prior to this date will not be affected.

USS will continue to keep you updated, however if you would like more detail about the changes please see the paper provided to the Institutions’ Advisory Panel in March.

If you have any queries please contact RetirementTeam@uss.co.uk. Please give USS as much notice as possible if you are likely to require them to produce to quotations on a bulk basis, for example as part of a severance exercise.

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