Letter to the Financial Times: please sign

Message from our Pensions Rep, Ginny Russell:

Last week as the  Vice Chancellor’s email informed us, trustees of USS published an updated valuation of their assets that suggested pensions contributions from employees will need to increase from 9.6% of your salary to between 13.6- 16.2%, in order to meet the promises made about existing benefits.

This report undervalues the assets that USS owns- for example USS have modelled the depleting value of their assets on increasing life expectancy, and  assume USS assets will barely be able to match inflation in investment returns over the next 30 years, whereas in reality, just since the valuation date at the end of March 2020, the scheme’s assets have increased by around a fifth to £80bn.

The increased contribution will make the pension scheme totally unsustainable, as it will price many colleagues out of the scheme. The out-pricing will itself lower the value attached to USS so that remaining employee contributions continue to increase, leading to more drop-out. We are calling on UoE to work with us to strongly oppose unsustainable rises in contributions.

Neil Davies (Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol) is writing a letter to the Financial Times about this critical situation we have with USS Pensions. It would be great if members could read and support the letter to the Financial Times questioning the new valuation which you can sign via Google form here (Important: anyone who wishes to co-sign the letter will need to do so by 12th March).

Branch and regional position: USS pension @ weekly HR/TU meeting (04/03/2021)

UCU does not agree with the valuation which has undermined the viability of the pension scheme. The region and branch have informed the university that we wish to work with the University to respond directly to the Trustee’s position.

Following the USS Trustee’s statement on 3 March, we were informed at the weekly HR/TU meeting that:

The University was disappointed with the position taken by the USS Trustee, which was not affordable for institutions or scheme members and would result in increasing numbers of staff opting-out of pension saving”

The branch will work constructively in all our interests.