The USS offers a low-cost, totally risk-free, index-linked income in retirement - plus additional death in service benefits, dependants' pensions and ill-health provision.
It can offer these benefits because it is a collective scheme, where the majority benefit. Some individuals may be able to manage their investments and achieve better individual returns, but the cost of the total package would be enormous.
Individuals who want to experience the roller coaster of investment volatility can do it with their own money - they may be grateful for their defined benefit if the stock market collapses on the day they need to buy an annuity.
Yvonne Rose. Via email.