Transfer of USS employer representative responsibilities from UUK to UCEA

10 May 2024

The 340 employers in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will be represented by Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), rather than Universities UK (UUK), from 1 August 2024.   

Employers have been carefully considering and working on this potential transfer since the publication of the report by the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), which was jointly commissioned by UUK and the University and College Union (UCU) in 2018. The JEP reported that it is usually the case that pay and pensions are determined by the same body, and that this could provide a more logical structure of responsibilities within the higher education sector.  

Following five years of extensive engagement with employers and stakeholders, including USS and UCU, the proposed transfer has been ratified by the Boards of UUK and UCEA, and the necessary changes made to the USS rules. 

The formal work for the 2023 USS valuation is essentially complete so we can soon complete the transfer. Progress on other current projects developing lower-cost and flexible options for members, conditional indexation, stability, and the governance review will continue.  

Staff in the USS Employers’ pensions team, currently employed by UUK, will transfer to UCEA along with the USS Employers’ brand and website.  In the meantime, their contact details will remain the same.  

Commenting, Raj Jethwa, Chief Executive of UCEA, said:  

“This transfer will mean that UCEA will be the lead organisation on pay, pensions and reward for the higher education sector. One organisation leading on remuneration and reward will allow for stronger collaboration on workforce policy and thought leadership and the UCEA team will deliver this.”    

Vivienne Stern MBE, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: 

“After extensive engagement with stakeholders, the UUK and UCEA Boards have decided that the USS employer representation role would be a better fit within the remit of UCEA. The transfer will mean that UUK is better able to deploy our resources, expertise, and political engagement and communications activity on the priorities outlined in our new strategic plan.”