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11 March 2022

Statement from the trustee on benefit modellers

The modeller which supported the employer’s consultation with members is available and provides a comprehensive view of the likely impact on USS members’ pensions following the implementation of the JNC’s agreed changes to benefits from 1 April 2022.

We are aware that in recent days a number of members have been using an alternative modeller – USS pensions calculator ( – to project the impact of the JNC’s agreed changes to benefits on their USS pension.

This modeller has not been reviewed or validated by the trustee, and is not affiliated in any way with the trustee or USS, as the “About” section of that website makes clear. It has been developed independently by academics at the University of Bristol.

It only projects future pensions being built up, and includes a number of assumptions on DC investment returns, salary growth, and inflation, that in some cases differ significantly to those that were approved by UUK for the purpose of the employer consultation.

It would be of concern to the trustee if members were to rely on those modeller outputs for decision making.

We would encourage any members who want to understand the impact of the changes on their USS benefits to use the consultation modeller in the first instance, which will be shortly replaced by an updated Benefit Illustrator, to be made available on the USS website from early April.

We recommend that members speak to a financial adviser before making, or refraining from making, any decisions in relation to their USS benefits.