Human Resources


The University of Sussex Pension and Assurance Scheme (USPAS) is the local pension scheme that is available for clerical, manual, ancillary and technical staff at Sussex. It is separate from the national Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) which covers academic and related staff.

As announced to staff in March 2007 - see background for information - the University has been working with and consulting local trades unions and USPAS members on how to tackle the long-term issues that are facing all privately funded final-salary pension schemes, as stock-market returns fall and life-expectancy in retirement increases.

Pension proposal

  • Under the proposal presented in May 2008, the University of Sussex Pension and Assurance Scheme will be kept open for those 500 or so staff who are currently members. Jane Summerville, Director of Human Resources, said: "We are protecting the position of USPAS members, with necessary changes to ensure the scheme can remain in financial balance in the future."
  • The University is also proposing to introduce a new 'defined contribution' pension scheme for future staff and for current staff who have already opted not to join USPAS. With a lower entry rate and flexible payments, this should allow more staff to take up the benefit of an employee pension. The current USPAS scheme is used by only around 55% of eligible staff, leaving 45% without an employee pension.
  • Under the proposal overall the University would be increasing the funds it puts in to local pensions to over £4m a year by 2012, up from £2.2m before the last valuation of USPAS (all figures at 2007 prices).
  • The University made significant changes to the May 2008 proposal as a result of consultation with USPAS members and negotiations with trade unions Unison and Unite. Jane said: "We have listened to suggestions from trades unions and USPAS members and have amended the proposal - for example reducing the necessary increase in employee contributions and phasing it in over three years, and revising the employer contribution rates for the new scheme."

Leaflet on pensions proposal - October 2008

You can download an information leaflet here on the University pensions proposals, for use if you need to provide visitors to the University with information.

Briefing to all staff - October 2008

A briefing note was sent to all staff in order to: (i) summarise the University's position on its pension proposal for future service pension provision for staff in USPAS eligible grades; and (ii) correct factually inaccurate statements that were currently in circulation:

September 2008

A series of workshops with USPAS members was held in the week beginning 15 September, as the University explained its revised proposal for ensuring that local pension provision is sustainable for the future. The detail of the proposal is set out here:

Updated October 2008