UUK calls for review of USS valuation

March 11th, 2021

Following the recent publication by the USS Trustee of potential future contribution rates, Universities UK (UUK) has written to USS Trustee Chair Kate Barker, calling for a review of the basis for the estimates which suggested that contributions should significantly increase to maintain pension benefits at their current levels.

The letter, signed by Universities UK president Julia Buckingham and chief executive Alistair Jarvis, expresses concern that the current approach represents an overreaction to a unique set of economic circumstances, resulting in a scheme that would price out scheme members, be unaffordable for employers, and increase intergenerational unfairness.

Universities UK will now hold further discussions with USS and the government’s Pensions Regulator, and will launch a consultation with university employers later in March on the potential ways forward.

Staff at Nottingham who are members or eligible to join the scheme will be invited to express their views alongside this.

Chief Financial Officer Margaret Monckton and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Long will lead a further series of webinars on USS for staff later this month and new USS 2020 Valuation webpages will provide all the latest information as it is published.

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group has also written a letter to the government Pensions Regulator to express similar concerns, and request it releases detailed information relating to any concerns it has expressed to the USS Trustee about the covenant and related matters that have led to the recent valuation and proposed costs.

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