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2016 changes in USS

16 November 2017

An overview of the main changes to USS introduced in 2016.

See the latest pensions news for information on the USS scheme changes and valuation:

UCU pensions news 5, May 16 [110kb]
UCU pensions news 5, May 16 [171kb]

April 2016 brought changes to USS as it start the move to a hybrid scheme.

Basically the pension contributions will go up to 8% for employees and 18% for employers.

Pre 2011 members without break of 30 months. From 31 March 2016 your pension will be closed and your final average salary will be worked out. The pension will increase in line with CPI with caps going forward.

CRB pension. All members on 1 April 2016 moved into the new CRB scheme which will have 1/75th accrual rate revalued by CPI with caps. There will be a lump sum which will be 3 times the annual pension. All earnings will count until 31 August 2016.

On 1 October the defined contribution element of the hybrid scheme will come into play. Those members who earn above £55k will have their defined benefit element capped. The salary above £55k will be treated differently and the employees 8% and the employers 12% will be paid into a select fund or funds.

In addition all members will have the option to pay an extra 1% and have this matched by the employer into the defined contribution fund after 1 October 2016.

The CRB is tied to future state pension age.

The rest of the pension benefits remain roughly the same.

Changes in the scheme

It will not be possible to transfer your fund in or out of the scheme under the Public Sector Transfer Clubs. The USS website gives the transitional details.

There will only be payment into the defined contribution section to improve your pension position.

Defined contribution element

At this time there is little information. However the scheme is actively planning for a selection of funds to be able to offer members and hopes from July to enable members' to make selection which funds they wish their money invested in.

Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) changes

Members with AVC contracts will be aware of the significant changes due to come into effect in April. Since AVC agreements are individual contracts between a USS member and the trustee, there may be circumstances in which a member may wish to bring a complaint against the trustee. UCU has prepared guidance on how to do so here.

Last updated: 25 March 2020