Overview of USS Pension Changes

From 1 April 2016 all members of USS will have at least two versions of their pension scheme and some earning above £55,000 will have three versions of their pension plan.

Current Final Salary Members

fall into two categories:

  1. Those earning below £55,000 will have a defined benefit final salary pension entitlement based on the period up to 1st April and a defined benefit career revalued benefit pension entitlement accruing from 1st April 2016.
  2. Those earning above £55,000 will have both of the above benefits plus an individual defined contribution account on the balance above £55,000. The risk of this element of pension have been shifted from USS to the fund member who will select a fund or funds into which their contributions will be invested.

    Neither will benefit from this change and members’ contributions will increase from 7.5% to 8%. (It doesn’t matter that employers contributions increase because the benefit is already defined- hence the term ‘Defined Benefit’)

Current Members of the Career Revalued Benefit Scheme

(Members joining the scheme after 1 Oct 2011)

  • These members will now have two CRB schemes – the pre-April and the post-April Scheme. Career Revalued Benefits (CRB) for all members on salary up to £55,000 accrued at a different accrual rate to that provided currently (the new accrual rate will be 1/75th of salary per year as pension, along with 3/75ths of salary as a lump sum). The Threshold of £55,000 will operate as described above.

The new CRB scheme may have been regarded as a modest improvement on the old scheme if it were not for the substantial hike in members’ contributions which will increase from 6.5% to 8% of pensionable salary.

Further details are available in a document prepared by Surrey UCU’s Pensions Representative here:

An Overview of USS Scheme Change

Links to USS site:



There is also a benefit illustrator on the site so that you can get a picture of what your new and more complex pension looks like.