Imperial UCU and College are united in our belief that a contribution rate of 25-30% of salary should be sufficient to secure a good pension for staff who are members of USS, and that the USS trustee's current approach to risk makes it difficult to obtain good value for money.

We acknowledge that the current UUK proposal for reform places a greater burden on members with a cut to future defined-benefit pension and a reduction in take-home pay due to increased contributions, and that this jeopardises the scheme remaining attractive both to new and current members. We also recognise that a sustainable and long-term vision for the future of our pension is essential and will only be possible if all parties work together towards a common goal.

We therefore:

  • Call on UUK and UCU to return to negotiations. 
  • Call upon UUK to confirm that the same covenant support will be sought for all proposals, whether originating from UCU or UUK.   
  • Call upon the national UCU to submit an updated proposal on the basis of this support to be costed as a matter of urgency.
  • Call for UUK and UCU to join forces and create a well-resourced working party to explore the feasibility and promise of alternative approaches that will give long-term stability and viability to the USS pension scheme. There is urgency to this matter and we strongly suggest that such a working party should be set up and start work within a two-month timeframe.  We agree that conditional indexation, or alternative scheme designs, could make it possible for USS to continue as a collective, mutual, multi-employer scheme with an ability to invest for the long term in growth-seeking assets.

Joint statement agreed 17 December 2021