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USS latest

Important developments on the USS pension scheme.


Information : InformationUCU USS director sought

UCU is seeking applications for a USS director to be appointed for a period of four years, of the Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd, the sole corporate trustee of the correspondingly named occupational pension schemes (USS): USS director nomination


USS ethical investment seminar - please note this meeting scheduled for 24 June 2015 has been cancelled.


Important : ImportantUSS Statutory consultation

From 16 March 2015 institutions will be circulating a link to enable you to respond to the formal consultation on recently proposed USS pension changes.

Although UCU was able to mediate some of the worst impact of the proposals during negotiations we continue to have real concerns with the underlying assumptions being made by USS which we believe will lead to further unnecessary instability.

UCU will be making a submission but it is also very important that individual members respond. Please follow the appropriate link below to points you may wish to make in response to the prompt questions posed in the USS consultation paper. These are only suggestions. You should feel free to add your own comments.

UCU will be sending a separate formal response to the consultation.


UCU members vote to accept new pension proposals

26 January 2015: UCU members have voted to accept new proposals for their pensions and not restart a marking and assessment boycott at 69 UK institutions. Two-thirds (67.1%) of those who voted agreed to accept the new proposals.


Action suspended to allow member vote

14 January 2015: Action which was due to resume on Friday 16 January is suspended while the union consults members on a new offer from the employers.


Boycott suspension nears end

8 January 2015: UCU branches have been asked to prepare to resume the action, currently suspended to allow talks, on 16 January. A special Higher Education Committee meeting will be held on 14 January to allow negotiators to report back on the talks. Universities have also been issued with notices warning that the action may be restarted.


Assessment boycott to start on 6 November


Members vote for action

20 October 2014: UCU members have overwhelmingly backed plans for industrial action in defence of their USS pensions. UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCU members at universities across the UK have made it quite clear today that they reject the radical changes being proposed for their pensions. We will go into talks on Wednesday hopeful that we can resolve the current impasse.'

See: University staff vote overwhelmingly for industrial action in pensions row


Exam and coursework boycott threat

29 September 2014: Staff would see tens of thousands of pounds a year wiped off their pensions if proposals made by Universities UK (UUK) were introduced, warns a report released on 29 September.

The report by First Actuarial for UCU warns that some staff would lose over £200,000 from their pensions if the radical proposals were implemented. See:


USS ballot

23 September 2014: UCU general secretary Sally Hunt has today written to all members in USS institutions to confirm an industrial action ballot will be launched on 1 October after detrimental proposals to alter USS were tabled.

See also:  (.pdf) file type icon Universities Superannuation Scheme valuation as at 31 March 2014 (.pdf) [243kb]


USS update

18 July 2014: It is expected that this week the employers will receive a consultation document from UUK, acting as the conduit between the USS board and employers, outlining a proposed approach to the USS pension fund deficit, including an option for a change to scheme design. Between 18 and 25 July, a series of briefings for relevant branches are taking place.

You can find a UCU briefing on the issues here (UCUHE225).

A decision-making meeting, where a report and recommendations from negotiators can be discussed, will be held on 18 September 2014 for USS branches.


Branch briefings

July 2014: In line with sector conference motion HE10 recommendation 4, briefings have been scheduled to provide further information on the future of the scheme and update branches on discussions with USS and the employers. These will take place in July 2014.


USS: Report to HE Sector Conference

May 2014: Information was circulated UCU to branches and delegates to HE Sector Conference 2014 (UCUHE22) which provided an update on USS on meetings concerning the future of the USS pension scheme, and which set-out UCU's negotiating objectives. This report was considered with sector conference motion HE10 which was subsequently carried.


USS annual statement

November 2013: USS scheme members should have received a statement from USS explaining that the fund has reported a deficit. There was some coverage of this on BBC Newsnight. For your information, please find below that statement agreed by the UCU and the employers:

Employer and UCU joint statement regarding USS funding position

USS is not alone in having to deal with funding issues and volatility of this kind; similar issues are facing other defined benefit schemes throughout the UK.

A joint funding and benefits group, comprising employer representatives and the UCU (as representative under the USS rules for all scheme members) was established in 2012. This group's remit includes the need to take account of the funding position of USS and our objective is to secure an attractive, affordable and sustainable scheme for members and employers in the long term.

Through this group the process is already under way for discussions between the employers and the UCU and discussions are expected to run up to and beyond the March 2014 triennial valuation.

All options remain under discussion and it is too early to be drawn on what the parties will believe to be the right plan for the scheme for the long term.


comparison of USS with Teachers Pension

31 January 2013: The joint working group of employers and UCU have undertaken a comparison of USS CRB scheme with the proposed heads of agreement with Teachers Pensions CARE due to come in April 2015. Different career paths have been modelled to provide an insight into the differences:

 (.pdf) file type icon Comparison of USS and TPS CARE schemes - report, Jan 13 (.pdf) [221kb]
 (.xls) file type icon Comparison of USS and TPS CARE schemes - data summary, Jan 13 (.xls) [29kb]

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