On 1 September, USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) released a valuation of the pension scheme to employers for consultation and confirmed that ‘the proposed assumptions result in an increase of 6%-7% of pay, from the 26% of pay paid by employers and members now, for the current package of benefits offered.’

USS valuations take place every three years to work out whether the assets (investments) will meet the liabilities (benefits promised) and if there is any need for adjustment. In previous years, the pension scheme has already been significantly reduced for new members, moving on to a career-average rather than final-salary based benefit.
However, the approach taken by the trustees is overly cautious and pessimistic. UCU have promoted alternative methodology which would show the scheme to be healthy and have no need to change. An example of different ways to value the scheme has been discussed in detail by Michael Otsuka here:
http://wonkhe.com/blogs/would-a-shift-from-bonds-to-growth-assets-keep-the-uss-afloat/
At present, UCU are conducting an online consultative ballot taking place to ask members whether they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend the pension scheme.
We are aware that there are many UoL IWGB members potentially affected by these changes – if anyone has concerns or questions please contact Jamie at jamie.woodcock@googlemail.com.
Once we have the outcome of the UCU ballot, we will be discussing with members how the IWGB can support any action that UCU decide to take on a national and local level.

 

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