Urgent action required by Monday, 12 noon (20 May, 2018).

Very short update on pensions

The emergency branch meeting on the proposed changes to your pension contributions has just ended. The branch had a detailed and thoughtful discussion about the changes being proposed by USS management. The principal emailed you about these last week (Friday, 10 May).

To summarise, USS Management has given members and employees three choices about their combined contributions.

  • 33.7% to be reviewed in 2021/22
  • 29.7% to be reviewed in 2021/22, but with USS management able to increase contributions under certain conditions.
  • 30.7% to be reviewed in 2020/21

More details can be seen here: https://www.uss.co.uk/how-uss-is-run/2018-valuation/2018-valuation-updates/9-may-2019

As of today, the combined contributions are 27.3%, rising to 32.9% in October.

Respect the JEP, address valuation methodology and governance properly

The consensus at the branch meeting was that all three options should be rejected for the following reasons:

  • The settlement of the industrial action last year was the establishment of the Joint Experts Panel (JEP). We should uphold that agreement.
  • In the valuation released last week, USS management has ignored the recommendations of the first JEP report on valuation methodology.
  • USS management’s wilful failure to meaningfully engage with stakeholders is symptomatic of the behaviour that lead to the last round of industrial action.
  • The three options presented by USS management are ‘solutions’ to problems that we do not recognise, because the JEP recommendations on the valuation methods have not been adopted.

More details on the JEP are here: https://medium.com/ussbriefs/the-outcome-of-the-2018-valuation-918bb434403c

In short, there should be no changes to USS contributions, benefits or governance until each relevant JEP report has been considered and implementation agreed by employees and employers.

Urgent Actions

Please now do two things:

Employers must submit their responses to USS management by Thursday, 30 May.

It is our interest as members of the pension fund, and in employers’ interests, that USS management respect our agreement from last year and respect the JEP process.

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