May 28th, 2021
The university has submitted its response to the Universities UK (UUK) consultation with university employers on the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which seeks views on UUK’s alternative set of proposals to ensure a valuable, affordable, inclusive, and sustainable scheme for their staff for the long term.
The Russell Group of leading research-intensive universities has also published a statement of principles agreed by all members of the Group in support of the UUK alternative proposals.
Responding to the University & College Union’s recent suggestions about UUK’s alternative proposals to deliver an affordable, inclusive, and sustainable scheme, Universities UK said:
“Employers would be very willing to consider alternative, feasible and affordable proposals from the UCU to tackle the scheme’s financial challenges – so far the union hasn’t put forward any possible solution. Unfortunately, no change is not a viable option.”
Currently, USS scheme members contribute 9.6% of their salary into the scheme, and the university as employer contributes a further 21.1.%.
Under the USS Trustee proposals, it is likely that total contributions will need to rise by a combined minimum of 11% to retain current benefits for the future. This would mean a ‘typical’ USS member, aged 37, on a £41,526 salary would have to pay in at least £1,660 a year more than they do now.
The UUK alternative proposals would mean employers offering additional financial backing, known as ‘covenant support,’ to lessen the rise in contributions which, considered alongside other reforms, could enable a significant defined benefit element to be preserved at current contribution levels. The proposals would also introduce a new, short-term flexible option for the growing number of early career staff who are currently being priced out of the scheme.
Ultimately, the UUK proposal would require all parties to compromise to reach agreement: USS to revisit its valuation assumptions; employers to increase covenant support and accept debt monitoring; and both employers and scheme members to accept some benefit reform
You can find out more about UUK’s response to UCU here.
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