Is the US university pension scheme permissible?

Q: I would like to enquire whether it is permissible to join the USS pension scheme please? ( It is offered by university employers.

A: الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

The Universities Superannuation Pension Scheme is a Final Salary (defined benefit) pension scheme. The previous position of the Al-Qalam panel was that defined benefit schemes were not permissible on account of the uncertainty they entailed. See:

However, the position of the Al-Qalam panel has now changed with regards to such pensions. Further to discussions with one of my esteemed teachers, it is now the opinion of the Al-Qalam Panel that defined benefit pensions may be tolerated and deemed permissible as, despite the gross uncertainty they entail, the uncertainty does not lead to inordinate dispute between the pension holder and pension provider. Thus, the Universities Superannuation Pension Scheme as it currently stands is permissible.

And Allah knows best.
Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt
Chair Al-Qalam Sharia Scholars Panel

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