Universities' Superannuation Scheme

Universities' Superannuation Scheme

  • Staff on Level 4 and above are eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme (USS). 
  • USS is the pension scheme provided by more than 390 UK universities and higher education and research institutions. 
  • Entry to the scheme is automatic upon appointment. If you do not wish to become a member of USS you must contact Pension & Benefits Services and complete a 'Notice to opt out of pension saving' form.
  • Membership is continuous if you transfer to another participating institution, providing the break in employment is less than one month.



Contribution Rates

From 1 October 2019, the employee contribution rate is 9.6% of pensionable salary and the employer contribution rate is 21.1% of pensionable salary.

Flexible Retirement 

USS members can, with the University's permission, opt for flexible retirement whereby up to 80% of USS benefits can be taken as long as the member agrees to reduce hours and salary by at least 20%. This enables the pension to be taken in two stages and the staff member continues working.

The pension will be reduced for early payment if the member is drawing it before the scheme's normal pension age (65). For more information on this please see the USS web site.

Further details can be found on the HR web site at:


Other Benefits 

Subject to certain rules, the scheme will pay a pension from any age if the member is suffering from an illness or condition that prevents them from working or reduces their capacity to work. Employees are entitled to death in service benefits and a pension for eligible survivors.

For detailed information, see the USS web site or contact pensions@nottingham.ac.uk.

See also information arising from the 2017 valuation of the Scheme.