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The predecessor of USS was the Federated Superannuation System for Universities (FSSU).

In 1911 the President of the Board of Education established an “Advisory Committee on University Grants”. This research formed the basis of the FSSU, which was approved by the Board of Education and membership became compulsory for new appointees post 1 October 1913.

FSSU was based on the following criteria:

  • the benefit, via an insurance policy maturing at age 60, was of an annuity or cash payment
  • optionally, benefits were available for dependants on death in service
  • the policy was held in trust by the member’s institution and was transferable to a new institution if required or to an individual on leaving the University service
  • members contributed 5% of salary and the employer matched this until 1920 when the employer contribution was increased to 10%
  • administrative staff on salaries comparable to academic staff were also eligible to join.

FSSU was generally welcomed but was not without its problems, including:

  • there was no linkage to final pay
  • a medical examination was required before entering the scheme
  • there was no guarantee of safeguard for dependants
  • the scheme was not economical in terms of risk benefits
  • there was no indexation of benefits.

These problems, along with other inflexibilities of FSSU and the fact that a DB scheme was already in place for school teachers in the form of the School Teachers (Superannuation) Act 1918 led to a pressure for change.

During the period from 1958 to 1969 several committees were established to review the present arrangements. The recommendations for a DB scheme were initially rejected by Universities in 1960 and again by a committee in 1964, who concluded it was “…unable to make a clear recommendation in favour of either system ”.

Main features of the Universities Superannuation Scheme [PDF]
History of the scheme
The introduction of USS
Role of USS Limited
Why Liverpool?
Organisation chart
Location maps
Liverpool [PDF]