USS valuation latest updates
University responses to consultations and the latest updates about the valuation process.
9 June 2021
The Trustee board has agreed to a three month extension, to the end of August, for the scheme's Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) to consider how the required contribution costs should be addressed. This additional time also enables the JNC to consider and respond to the UUK consultation.
24 May 2021
The University responded to the Universities UK (UUK) consultation on the USS 2020 Valuation. The consultation sought the views of the 340 employers in the USS scheme on options for tackling the scheme’s increasing costs and sizeable deficit as put forward by USS as part of its 2020 valuation. They also want views on how to address the high member opt-out rate, as well as possible alternative longer term solutions to ensure the sustainability of the scheme. Our response takes into account the feedback provided by staff in our USS pension scheme valuation survey, which closed on 30 April 2021.
15 March 2021
Russell Group Universities have written to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) requesting that the TPR release detailed information relating to any concerns they have expressed to the USS Trustee about the covenant (the collective financial strength of over 340 employers in the USS scheme) and related matters that have led to the recent valuation and proposed costs. The letter includes that the contribution rates now proposed by the USS Trustee are not affordable for individuals or employers, and the Russell Group are concerned about the proportion of individuals opting out of the scheme, particularly with further contribution increases. Download the letter.
10 March 2021
Universities UK (UUK), on behalf of 340 USS employers, has written to the USS Trustee urging it to review its decision to set very high prices to maintain current benefits and to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) questioning its influence on the valuation. Further information and the published letters can be found here.
3 March 2021
The USS Trustee published an update report that explains the funding challenges facing the scheme. The update sets out increases in pension contributions that would be necessary to maintain the scheme's existing benefits, in light of persistent low interest rates and reduced expectations of future investment returns. Even in the most favourable scenario considered, the overall contribution rate would need to rise to 42.1% (total of members and employer's contributions). It currently stands at 30.7% (9.6% members contributions and 21.1% employer's contributions) and is already due to rise to 34.7% under the 2018 valuation. The further two scenarios set out would require even higher contribution rises of 49.6% and 56.2%.
The Trustee update confirms that a separate actuarial report (“the section 76.1 report”) and contribution determination have now been shared with USS’s Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) which represents employers and scheme members (with equal numbers of representatives from UUK and the University and College Union). Under the scheme’s constitution, it is now the role of the Joint Negotiating Committee to decide on any changes to contribution rates or benefits that may be necessary. UUK will begin a consultation with employers later this month. Further information can be found here.
The University published an update outlining its position on the valuation on 26 February which can be found here. The President & Vice-Chancellor, sent an update to all staff on 3 March which can be found here.
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The University responded to the technical provisions consultation.
The University responded to a consultation on Debt Monitoring and Pari Passu.
March to April 2020
In March 2020, The USS trustee issued a technical discussion document to sponsoring employers on 9 March 2020. Employers were invited to comment on this document via a consultation. The University's valuation working group developed a response which was approved by the University Executive Board (UEB) and University Council.
December 2019 to February 2020
Employers were invited to comment on the report via a consultation co-ordinated by UUK. The University's valuation working group developed a consultation response which was approved by UEB and Council.