An update on Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

An update on national discussions

In early January, President and Vice-Chancellor, Koen Lamberts wrote to staff to announce that following publication of the Joint Expert Panel's second report before Christmas, UCU, UUK and USS will meet at talks facilitated by the chair of the JEP, Joanne Segars.

Meetings have been taking place between the University and College Union (UCU), Universities UK (UUK) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to discuss the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel's (JEP) second report.

On Wednesday 15 January, UCU, UUK and USS met to discuss the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel's (JEP) second report.

This was the first of five meetings. It was a positive meeting and there was a willingness to discuss all of the issues and recommendations of the second report of the JEP. It was agreed that the next meeting would consider a Scheme Purpose Statement and the Shared Valuation Principles.

On Friday 17 January, UCU, UUK and USS held further constructive talks on the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel's (JEP) second report.

This was the second of five meetings. The discussions were positive and good progress was made on developing a shared Scheme Purpose statement for the stakeholders to jointly agree and use as a basis for UCU, UUK and the Trustee to work together and approach future valuations. It was agreed that the next meeting would consider the question of sustainability and start to map out how, and by whom, possible governance changes might be addressed. It was also agreed the group would receive a report back from the USSL Board meeting which was due to meet on 22 January.

You can read the full statements from the meetings here and we will continue to keep you updated as discussions progress.

Latest information

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Consultation: Proposed change to maintain the revaluation of the salary threshold

Following an agreement by the USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), comprising UCU and UUK representatives, all active members of USS, any employee eligible to join USS and their recognised employee representatives are being consulted on a proposed change to maintain the revaluation of the salary threshold. Further details of the proposed change and the consultation, including how to respond, can be found here.

The consultation will run from Friday 24 January 2020 for 60 days, until 5pm on Monday 23 March 2020.

UUK consultation on JEP2

The second Joint Expert Panel report (JEP2) was published in December 2019. The purpose of the second report is to establish key principles to underpin the future approach to the valuation of the USS fund that all parties – University and College Union (UCU), Universities UK (UUK) and the USS Trustee – can accept. It makes a series of interlocking recommendations covering the governance of the scheme, the valuation methodology, and the scheme’s sustainability. The recommendations include establishing a new, jointly agreed, purpose statement; improving the operation of the Joint Negotiating Committee; creating a series of joint bodies in USS to better agree on issues relating to the future direction of the scheme; and agreeing a more appropriate valuation methodology, driven by the newly agreed purpose of the scheme.

UUK will shortly be asking us to share our thoughts on the report. Our USS Valuation Working Group (comprising UCU, academics and representatives from HR and Finance) are currently reviewing the report and will make recommendations to the University Executive Board and University Council. We will share our full response to the UUK consultation once it is submitted at the end of February.

Read our responses to previous consultations