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UCU announces nominations to USS joint expert panel

21 May 2018

UCU has announced today that Professor Saul Jacka, Professor Deborah Mabbett and Associate Professor Catherine Donnelly will sit on the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) tasked with examining the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Saul Jacka is a professor of statistics at the University of Warwick and a Turing fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He has worked in mathematical finance for over 30 years, and much of his research has focussed on how this field links with actuarial science. He is also a trustee of a defined benefit pension scheme for non-USS staff at the University of Warwick, and an independent actuarial examiner for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFA).

Deborah Mabbett has a strong academic background in pension policy. A professor of public policy at Birkbeck, much of her research has focussed on the relationship between the state and occupational or private pension schemes. Her current research focuses on the implications of rising and flexible retirement ages for the management of pension assets. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford and has previously worked as an advisor to the World Bank in Lithuania and Moldova. She is also currently co-editor of the Political Quarterly.

Catherine Donnelly has worked as an advisor on pension scheme valuations and investment strategies for several pension consultancy firms. She is currently an associate professor at Heriot-Watt University, where she heads up the Risk Insight Lab focussing on pensions, investment and insurance research. Her own research examines different approaches to pensions and retirement income including defined benefit and collective defined contribution models.

The JEP was established as part of an agreement reached between the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) in March 2018. It is tasked with agreeing key principles to underpin the future approach to the scheme's valuation, and will be chaired by Joanne Segars OBE. Universities UK will also nominate three members to sit on the panel.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'I am delighted that Professor Saul Jacka, Professor Deborah Mabbett and Associate Professor Catherine Donnelly have agreed to take part in the panel. Together they bring a huge range of expertise and experience to this important process. I know the final choice was very difficult given the quality of all those who applied to be on the panel, and I would like to thank all those who expressed an interest.  UCU is extremely lucky that we have such expertise within our membership.'


Last updated: 21 May 2018