Who is involved?

Universities UK (UUK)

UUK is the collective voice of 137 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution.

UUK is also the nominated formal representative for 341 USS employers participating in USS since the scheme was formed in 1975.


University and College Union (UCU)

UCU is a trade union that represents staff at UK universities, colleges, prisons and other training organisations. The union represents academics and researchers as well as managers, administrators and other staff such as librarians.

UCU is also the nominated formal representative for USS scheme members.


The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC)

The JNC decides how increases in costs to the scheme should be met after the Trustee has established the contribution rate required for the current level of benefits. The JNC’s options are to increase contributions or change future benefits or a combination of both. The JNC can also feed in its views to the Trustee on a number of other areas in the scheme, including the level of risk to take when calculating the contribution rate required.

It is made up of five representatives from UCU, five representatives from UUK, and an independent chair.


The Joint Expert Panel (JEP)

The JEP is a panel of independent experts, who have been reviewing the 2017 USS valuation since May 2018. It is comprised of six actuarial and academic experts, nominated equally (three each) by UUK and UCU. The panel is led by a jointly agreed chair, Joanne Segars OBE.

Under the chair’s guidance, the panel has been examining the assumptions and methodology used for the 2017 valuation, and submitted a report of its findings in September 2018. Since February 2019, the JEP has been working on a second report, looking at the valuation process and governance, and considering the long-term sustainability of the scheme. It is expected to report in autumn 2019.


The USS Trustee

USS is the corporate trustee responsible for the management and administration of the scheme. The scheme is supervised in terms of its conduct of operations and financial reporting by the Pensions Regulator.

The trustee, supported by its advisory committees, directs and controls the scheme to ensure that it continues to provide a valuable way for members to save for retirement.


The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

TPR is the UK regulator of workplace pension schemes. It is the public body that makes sure that employers put their staff into a pension scheme and pay money into it. It also ensures workplace pension schemes are run properly so that people can save safely for their retirement.