This consultation seeks comments from affected employees and their representatives on the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC)'s proposed benefit changes.
This page has a summary of the proposals along with some background to this consultation.
To give your views, go to the Respond page to submit your response by 5pm on 24 November 2023.
All responses submitted during the consultation period will be considered before any final decision is made and implemented.
Summary of Proposed Changes
In March this year, the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) asked the trustee of USS to price benefits, subject to the outcome of the 2023 valuation process and consultations, at pre-April 2022 levels for service from 1 April 2024.
This consultation seeks comments from affected employees and their representatives on these potential benefit changes, which the JNC approved as the basis for statutory consultation.
Following a JNC recommendation for benefit changes, which is anticipated after the close of this consultation, the trustee will then formally propose those benefit changes as an update to the scheme rules.
Salary threshold increase
It is proposed that the salary threshold will increase to within the range of £66,400 to £73,040 with effect from 1 April 2024.
The salary threshold would continue to be increased annually in line with inflation, subject to an increased cap.
A higher accrual rate for your defined benefits
It is proposed that the rate at which you build benefits in the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Retirement Income Builder, will increase from 1/85 to 1/75 of salary.
Higher cap for future pension increases
It is proposed that the cap on increases to benefits built up from 1 April 2022 increases to a higher cap than at present to take into account inflation.
Information about your contributions
Whilst not subject to statutory consultation, any reduction to overall contributions required by the trustee will be considered by the JNC.
Contributions to the defined benefit part of the scheme – the USS Retirement Income Builder
It’s anticipated that the contributions required to fund the JNC’s proposed benefit changes will be lower than those being paid today. The overall contribution rate required will be determined by the trustee, once the Technical Provisions consultation with UUK has completed.
Contributions above the salary threshold to the defined contribution part of the scheme – the USS Investment Builder
Currently, 20% of your salary above the salary threshold (8% from your contribution above the salary threshold and 12% from your employer) is paid into the defined contribution part of the scheme, your USS Investment Builder.
Whilst it is proposed that the overall 20% of salary above the salary threshold to the USS Investment Builder remains unchanged, the JNC will confirm, later in the year, whether the proposed share of member and employer contributions within that 20% will change.
For more information on the JNC’s package of proposed changes, go to ‘Proposals’.
- Notice of consultation and where to find more information are provided to affected employees, elected representatives and recognised trade unions.
- 25 September 2023
- Consultation start date.
- 24 November 2023
- Consultation end date.
- Late November to early December 2023
- All responses submitted via the consultation website during the consultation period will be considered before any final decision is made.
- December 2023
- JNC decision made, based upon the outcome of the consultation. The final position will be communicated to affected employees, elected representatives and recognised trade unions as soon as possible afterwards.
- 1 April 2024
- The earliest possible date that the changes to benefits being consulted on would be implemented.
The information is a summary only, for general guidance. It is not a legal document and does not explain all situations or eventualities. USS is governed by a trust deed and rules and if there is any difference between this publication and the trust deed and rules the latter prevail.