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Email your VC about USS

17 February 2022

A new financial monitoring report from the USS trustee has confirmed that scheme assets have soared to over £88bn and that the deficit has shrunk by 85%. Perhaps most importantly, the trustee has also confirmed if a new valuation was conducted at this moment in time, benefits could be increased and/or contributions reduced. But time is running out to stop UUK's cuts coming into effect.

If your institution is one of the institutions involved in the dispute over the devastating 35% cuts to your hard-earned pensions, please email your VC/principal and urge them to make UUK change course.

Click on their email address below to open an email with some suggested text; or you can copy/paste the text from below. If you can, please personalise your email and forward any replies to

InstitutionHead of institution 
Aberdeen, The University ofProfessor George
Aberystwyth UniversityProfessor Elizabeth
Aston UniversityMs Saskia
Bangor UniversityProfessor Iwan Davies
Birkbeck, University of LondonProfessor David
Brunel UniversityProfessor Andrew
Cardiff UniversityProfessor Colin
City, University of LondonProf. Anthony Finkelstein CBE FREng
Courtauld Institute of ArtProfessor Deborah
Cranfield UniversityProfessor Karen
Durham UniversityProfessor Karen O'
East Anglia, University of (UEA)Professor David
Exeter, University ofProfessor Lisa
Goldsmiths University, LondonProfessor Frances
Heriot-Watt UniversityProfessor Richard Williams
Hull, University ofProfessor Susan
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (ICSTM)Professor Alice P
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)Melissa Leach,
King's College LondonProfessor Shitij
Liverpool School of Tropical MedicineProfessor David
London School of Economics and Political ScienceDame Minouche
London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineProfessor Liam
Loughborough UniversityProfessor Nick
Manchester, The University ofProfessor Dame Nancy
Newcastle UniversityProfessor Chris
Open University (OU)Professor Tim
Oxford, University ofProfessor Louise
Queen Mary University of LondonProfessor Colin
Royal Holloway, University of LondonProfessor Paul
Royal Veterinary CollegeProfessor Stuart
Ruskin CollegeProfessor Peter
Salford, University ofProfessor Helen
Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)Professor Nicholas
Senate House, University of LondonProfessor Wendy Thomson
Southampton, University ofProfessor Mark E
St George's, University of LondonProfessor Jenny
Suffolk, University ofProfessor Helen
Surrey, University ofProfessor G.Q. Max
Swansea UniversityProfessor Paul
The Queen's University of BelfastProfessor Ian
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)Professor Adam
The University of BathProfessor Ian H
The University of BirminghamProfessor Adam
The University of BradfordProfessor Shirley
The University of BristolProfessor Hugh
The University of CambridgeProfessor Stephen J
The University of DundeeProfessor Iain
The University of EdinburghProfessor Peter
The University of EssexProfessor Anthony
The University of GlasgowProfessor Anton Muscatelli, FRSE
The University of KeeleProfessor Trevor
The University of KentProfessor Karen
The University of LancasterProfessor Andy
The University of LeedsProfessor Simone Buitendijk
The University of LeicesterProfessor Nishan
The University of LiverpoolProfessor Janet
The University of NottinghamProfessor Shearer
The University of ReadingProfessor Robert Van de
The University of SheffieldProfessor Koen
The University of St AndrewsProfessor Sally
The University of StirlingProfessor Sir Gerry
The University of StrathclydeProfessor Sir Jim
The University of SussexDavid
The University of YorkProfessor Charlie
University College London (UCL)Dr Michael Spence
University of Wales Trinity Saint DavidProfessor Medwin
University of UlsterProfessor Paul
Warwick, University ofProfessor Stuart


Letter text:


I am writing and requesting that you urge your representatives Universities UK (UUK) to revoke their cuts to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in light of the recent USS financial monitoring report, and to instruct USS to implement UCU's proposals as the most sensible short-term solution ahead of a new valuation.

The strong financial position of the scheme, as reflected in the new FMP, demonstrates that you and other USS institutions will be paying out huge sums of money to redress a deficit that does not exist. Growth in the scheme's assets of £22bn, soaring from £66.5bn to £88.8bn, has outstripped growth of liabilities, meaning that required deficit recovery contributions now stand at 0%.  

If the cuts to guaranteed retirement income in USS come into force on Friday and are not reversed, they will not only entrench deep inequalities in our sector but threaten its future by leading to a mass exodus of staff.  

For many of us, a good pension was a saving grace in the face of constant decline in pay and working conditions. Sadly, I was therefore unsurprised that UCU's recent survey showed 60% of staff planning to leave the sector in the next five years over these cuts to our pensions.

Neither you nor any other institution in USS should be wasting money on a non-existent deficit. By pushing for UCU's proposals to be tabled and passed — as the best solution while the union and UUK work together to press for a sensible, moderately prudent valuation — you will be protecting the pension of me and my colleagues.  

And in helping to stop the devastation of our pensions, you will be protecting the future of your institution and UK higher education more widely.  

As a dedicated, hard-working employee, I am already profoundly dejected by the attacks on my pensions and pay. If UUK presses ahead with these cuts after they have been decisively shown to be completely unnecessary, it would be an unforgivable betrayal.  

Please do everything in your power to urgently pressure UUK to change course.

Yours sincerely, 

Last updated: 6 April 2022