The predecessor of USS was the Federated Superannuation
System for Universities (FSSU).
In 1911 the President of the Board of Education established
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
- administrative staff on salaries comparable to academic
staff were also eligible to join.
FSSU was generally welcomed but was not without its problems,
- 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 ”.