Dear Colleagues,

We wrote to you recently with our draft response to a letter from national UCU regarding the USS pension scheme 2018 valuation. Having now discussed the draft with Heads of Department and received feedback and comments from the wider College community we have sent the attached letter back to UCU this week.

You will see we have reflected feedback from colleagues to make our commitment to an affordable defined benefit scheme clearer and to reiterate our calls for USS to be fully transparent in their communications and for all parties to work together, alongside JEP, to reach an agreement on the way forward.

As has been the case throughout this process, the deadline was extremely tight so thank you for sending us your comments and suggestions so quickly.

The USS Trustees are still discussing the three options for completing the 2018 valuation with the Pensions Regulator. The College (and the majority of HEIs) expressed a preference for option 3 that would result in contributions of 21.1% for employers and 9.6% for employees applying from October 2019 and a new valuation in 2020. This option gives the Joint Expert Panel time to complete their second report.

If all the parties involved cannot find a way to complete the 2018 valuation, the USS Trustees will implement the 2017 valuation as approved by the Pensions Regulator. This would cause the employer contributions to increase to 22.5% and employee contributions to go up to 10.4% in October this year. In April 2020 the employer contributions would increase again to 24.2% and employee contributions to 11.4%.  

If you would like to know more about the background to the valuation please visit our webpages where you will also find a modeller that shows the financial impact of the various options on your net pay.

We will update you again on any progress in the discussions between USS and the Regulator.

Best wishes,

Alice and Ian

Professor Alice P. Gast, President

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost