USS Pensions Update
It was announced late this afternoon that Universities UK and UCU wish to establish a joint expert panel to consider the valuation of the USS.
This panel will review the basis of the scheme valuation, and the assumptions and tests underpinning it. It will include actuarial and academic experts, with a jointly agreed independent chair.
The proposal was developed today under the auspices of Acas, and is of course subject to consultation with UCU members and employers with USS members. Support for this process will also need to be discussed with the USS Trustee and the Pensions Regulator, recognising their statutory responsibilities. Subject to the necessary support, there are a number of practical questions to be tackled about the composition and the work of the panel which need to be agreed by Universities UK and UCU before the terms of reference for the panel can be published.
Pausing benefit reform discussions to consider further expert opinion of the valuation is a positive development, intended to build trust and confidence across the sector. As part of the Acas proposal, UCU will consult its branches and members on ending industrial action; a positive outcome from this consultation would be very good news for our students, who want strike action to stop to prevent further disruption to their studies.
Further updates will be provided over the next few days.