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USS pension contribution rates to fall on 1st January

19 December 2023

The Universities Superannuation Scheme, the UK's largest private pension fund, will cut contribution rates on Monday 1 January.

The announcement comes after UCU and employer representatives voted through changes at the USS Joint Negotiating Committee yesterday that will see employee contributions fall to 6.1%, down from 9.8%. For a member earning £45,000 this will mean a monthly saving of £111 after tax. 

The change is the latest victory in a pension dispute that has seen UCU members take 69 days of strike action since 2018. In February (2024) the deed for restoration and recovery will also be voted on, before being implemented from Monday 1 April 2024. This will reverse cuts employers forced through in April 2022, by: 

  • reinstating the previous accrual rate of 1/75  
  • increasing the defined benefit threshold from £40k back to where it would have been had changes not been implemented, at around £70k 
  • removing the 2.5% pa cap on pension increases before and after retirement which will better protect pensions against inflation. 

There will also be an additional one-off pension payment of around £900m to help make good the money members have lost since April 2022.  

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'This is a great day for our union, for members of USS, and the whole trade union movement. This is a trade union putting money into its members' pockets. 

'We now move on and pressure employers who are now making a huge saving on their contribution rates. That money must be used to improve pay and conditions for staff. 

'Well done to every UCU member who played their part in getting us here - the bitterly cold picket lines suddenly feel a lot more worthwhile. 

'We will take the spirit and example set by this win and seek to apply it right across our union now.' 

Last updated: 9 January 2024