USS pensions — consultation

UPDATE: USS has extended the closing date and time of its consultation to 5pm on Monday 5 November.

Further to its communications with scheme members in July, the USS pension scheme opened a 60-day consultation on Monday 3 September.

The consultation seeks members’ views on a USS proposal to phase increases in contributions from both employers and members from 1 April 2019, to cover the cost of securing future service benefits under the defined benefit scheme.

The consultation will run in parallel to — but separately from — the UUK/UCU Joint Expert Panel process that is currently reviewing the valuation of the scheme.

The University remains fully supportive of the Joint Expert Panel in its examination of the valuation to inform efforts to secure an agreed solution – its findings are expected later in September. It is hoped that this will help UUK and UCU reach an agreement that may avoid the need for the higher levels of contributions.

The USS has published full details of the proposed changes and their rationale at USS Cost Sharing Update.

In summary, USS believes it needs to increase employer and member contributions to ensure the scheme complies with legal requirements of the Government’s Pensions Regulator, the deadline for which passed on 30 June 2018.

USS is proposing a phased increase in employer contributions from 18% to 19.5%, and member contributions from 8% to 8.8% from 1 April 2019. Employer contributions to the USS Investment Builder for salary above the defined benefit threshold (£57, 216) would remain at 12%, however the 1% employer match into the USS Investment Builder would be discontinued from 1 April 2019.

Further increases are proposed from 1 October 2019, where employer contributions would increase to 22.5% and member contributions would increase to 10.4%, followed by increases to 24.9% and 11.7% respectively from 1 April 2020.

Consultation packs were issued to all USS pension scheme members in time for the start of the consultation on 3 September.

If you have not received your consultation pack by this date, or have any questions, please contact BB-Pensions@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk.

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