Universities Superannuation Scheme

Employees who are on academic or academic-related pay scales (generally grade 6 or above) are usually offered membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (“USS”). USS is administered from the scheme’s offices in Liverpool. However all enquiries from current employees should initially by made through the University Pensions Office. This site gives more information about the scheme and contains links to key pages on the USS website.  To understand the advantages of contributing to the scheme see: Seven Good Reasons to be a Member of USS (141kb)

USS Employer Consultation on Scheme Changes

Details of the USS Employer Consultation on scheme changes are available on the USS website. The consultation runs until 2 November 2018.

USS Valuation 2017 and cost sharing process

More information on the review of funding and benefits as part of the three yearly actuarial valuation can be on the USS website and the University's dedicated webpage.

USS annual benefit statements

USS is producing the Annual Member Statements (AMS) as at 31 March 2018.  For the first time the AMS will include details of members’ USS Retirement Income Builder benefits, USS Investment Builder benefits and their annual allowance (AA) usage for the 2017/18 tax year as well as other useful information.

USS has said that the statements will be available in late September 2018. 

 If you need information in your AMS about the AA for tax planning purposes so that you can meet the voluntary Scheme Pays deadline of 15 December 2018, please contact the Pensions Office as soon as possible. 

USS benefits

Employees who are members of USS automatically join the USS Retirement Income Builder. In this type of defined benefit pension scheme your benefits are based on each year’s salary throughout the period of membership.

As a member you will accrue a pension of 1/75 of your salary and a cash lump sum of 3/75 of your salary for each year of service. At the end of each year, your benefits for that year are calculated and added to previous years. This is then revalued every year in line with standard pension increases.

You will also gain access to the USS Investment Builder, the new defined contribution section of the scheme.

The My USS online service is now available, so you can make your investment and contribution choices quickly and easily online. You can register to use the service here. You’ll need your USS number (found on a recent letter from USS to you) and your NI number. If you don’t have your USS member number or can’t find it you should ring the USS Helpline on 0333-300-1043.

Investment Builder

USS has provided information on their USS Investment Builder, an optional defined contribution section you can join in addition to the career revalued benefits section, the Retirement Income Builder. If you earn over £55,000 per year, you'll join this automatically.

1% Match and additional contributions

If you elect to pay at least 1% of full pensionable salary in to the USS Investment Builder then the University will automatically match that contribution. Note the automatic match is limited to 1% of your full salary. Any additional payments from you and the employer match are invested in the USS Investment Builder.

Current USS members can take up the match and pay additional contributions or change selections via My USS at any time. Register here

New joiners to USS will need to make an election for additional contributions and the match through My USS. Elect for additional contributions here.

The Pensions Office will notify USS of new joiners a week after the salary payment. You may register for My USS after this and make your election. 

At the start of each calendar month, the Pensions Office will be notified by USS of any changes to elections, including new elections, for the match and additional contributions made in the previous month. These contributions will deducted in the current month’s salary payment.

Employees, new to the University and transferring between employers, who made additional contributions or paid the match will need to make new elections on joining the University. As with other new joiners elections for additional contributions and the match should be made through My USS. Log in here

This can be done a week after your first salary payment, after the Pensions Office has notified USS about joiners. The same time scales for other new joiners and amendments apply. Your My USS log on email address and password will be unchanged.


USS in detail

The USS scheme is administered for the University (and other institutions) by an external company, USS Ltd.

The USS website provides full details of the scheme.

USS University contact details

For further information, please contact:
Tel: 01865 (6) 16067
Email: uss@admin.ox.ac.uk
Staff: USS contacts