Help hold the USS directors accountable by supporting the High Court Appeal to save university pensions and save the planet

In the case brought by Neil Davies and Ewan McGaughey the High Court has ruled that beneficiaries of a pension scheme can sue directors for breach of duty, but it did not give permission to go to trial.

Neil, Ewan, and many other believe that the judge’s decision was was based on a wrong reading of the law, and the wrong understanding of the law’s purpose. So, they are appealing.

The latest case updates and new stretch target for funding for the appeal can be found at

The USS trustees and managers have not acted in your interests and they are not going to. They act in their own interests, inflating costs and personal reward while cutting your pension benefits.

We need to take action. Please donate what you can to help finance the appeal.


Late motion L5 was carried at HESC on Thursday 2 June. It calls for UCU to publicly support the case and provide funding from the £35 million it holds the bank.

The legal claims are that the USS directors breached their statutory duties under the Companies Act 2006 – the nonsense valuation, the discriminatory impact of cuts, wasting member’s money, and failing to divest fossil fuels.

The appeal is necessary because even though it was established in the High Court that beneficiaries can sue for breach of directors’ duty, permission to proceed to trial was not granted. This was based on case law that the judge felt bound by, dating back to 1843. The team are confident that the judge made basic legal errors in putting up procedural hurdles that make enforcement of the statutory directors’ duties impossible.

The current estimate of cost for the appeal is an additional £350k (including covering USS costs), about one single member’s pension cut. Since the appeal was announced USS directors have already shifted their position, admitting that benefits could be restored or contributions reduced. So this case, and keeping the pressure up, matters.

In the meantime, please continue to donate what you can to help finance the appeal.