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USS Trustee confirms full pension benefit restoration on course for April 2024

29 March 2023

The latest update from the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) confirms restoring benefits will cost less than employers and staff are currently paying into the pension scheme.

UCU and employer body Universities UK (UUK) have agreed to prioritise reversing the cuts that were made last year. This update allays concerns that recent market volatility would impact the strength of the scheme. It is a welcome indication of stability just days before the formal valuation date of Friday 31 March (2023), which is now expected to confirm benefits can be fully restored, paving the way for employers to do so by April 2024. 

UCU, UUK and USS have also jointly written to the Pensions Regulator urging it to improve regulation for open DB schemes. UCU believes this would help prevent a repeat of the misguided 2020 valuation, which pushed the USS pension scheme into crisis. The letter evidences the new spirit of cooperation seen from university employers and scheme managers. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'This latest financial monitoring update confirms that, after taking sustained strike action, university staff are set to see their pensions restored within the next 13 months. But the brutal cuts that led to our members being forced onto picket lines must never happen again. 

'That is why UCU, employers and the trustee have come together to urge the Pensions Regulator to update its code to account for the open nature of USS, the enhanced covenant support from employers and the strategic global importance of the UK's higher education system. We welcome the new spirit of cooperation from university employers and scheme managers that we have seen in recent months.' 

Last updated: 29 March 2023