Dear colleague,  

On Monday, USS published a consultation to their 341 Higher Education member institutions on their proposed assumptions for the pension scheme’s Technical Provisions in relation to the 2020 valuation. You can see the consultation document on our website. In this document, the USS Trustee has set out their initial view on the assets, liabilities, long-term assumptions and the cost of the current benefit structure.  

Our initial view of their proposals is that it falls short of proposing a realistic way forward. Whilst there are some positives in that USS have taken on board some of the recommendations from the Joint Expert Panel, such as a new valuation methodology, shared valuation principles and a scheme purpose,  they have clearly not utilised all of the expertise to hand.  

We are expecting more information and guidance next week from UUK. Their independent actuarial advisers are currently assessing the consultation document in detail and that will help inform our view further. 

Even so, more information is still pending from the USS, including the results of the Trustee’s covenant assessment and the outcomes of discussions of an appropriate recovery plan which will have an important influence on contribution rates.  

USS will be hosting a webinar at 3.30pm on 17 September as an opportunity to ask questions directly of them.

Over the next few weeks, we will share the further information we receive with you, we will  consider it and we will seek your input in framing our response. We then intend to set out our views directly to USS, as well as through UUK, before the consultation closes on 30 October.  

Imperial remains committed to a fair and sustainable remuneration package for our employees, of which pensions are an important component.  

Best wishes,  

Alice and Ian 

Professor Alice P. Gast, President

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost