Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to update you on the progress of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) and recent developments from the work of the USS Trustee (USS) to meet its regulatory requirements.

Joint Expert Panel

The Joint Expert Panel (JEP) continues to take evidence to inform its report on the 2017 valuation which is due in September. The JEP has published minutes of five of its meetings since the 31st May and you can read them on our USS webpage. Imperial Professors Axel Gandy and David Miles gave evidence to the JEP last week and you can still make submissions or provide comments directly to submit@ussjep.org.uk.

USS Trustee cost sharing process

We asked the USS in May to give the JEP the time and independence needed to complete its work. Unfortunately the USS confirmed in an update to members in June that it had decided that it was legally constrained to run the cost sharing process in parallel to the JEP. In any case, we are firmly requesting that the USS give the JEP report due consideration before any substantive changes are made to contributions.

Higher contributions from employers and staff may be required by the USS from April 2019. We will continue to support the work of the JEP and hope that its report and the subsequent Joint Negotiating Committee discussions in the autumn lead to a sustainable, equitable and fair pension scheme. A prolonged period of higher contributions would require difficult choices over future priorities for pay and remuneration and would affect the affordability of the scheme for many of you.

The USS will update members again at the end of this month in advance of a formal consultation process that will take place as the JEP reports. As the national organisations work towards a long term solution I value your continued feedback.

Best wishes,

Alice

Professor Alice P. Gast, President