Home > News and blog > Pensions reform

Pensions reform

19 October 2017

​Commenting on UCU's press statement about the possibility of industrial action at universities over pension reform, Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK (UUK) Chief Executive, said:

"Challenging economic circumstances have resulted in USS having a large deficit and the cost of funding future pensions has risen to an unaffordable level.  The Pensions Regulator's view makes it clear that USS pension costs and risk have to be controlled. 

"Universities can't afford to pay more into pensions without diverting money from teaching and research, which will damage the high standards students rightly expect.  We recognise the prospect of pension scheme benefit reform will concern employees, but failure to act now risks harming our world class higher education system.  We are working with UCU to develop proposals to protect the future of USS while ensuring the scheme continues to offer attractive benefits to current and future employees."

​Notes to editors

  1. The approach to benefit reform is currently being considered with UCU through the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), which has an independent chair.
  2. The methodology for agreeing the valuation of USS has been discussed extensively with UCU through a specific valuation discussion forum in 2016 and a further round of over 30 formal meetings with USS and UCU during the valuation process to date.
  3. Drawing comparisons between USS (for pre-92 institutions) and TPS (for post-92 institutions) is misleading.  TPS is an unfunded scheme backed by UK tax payers, not directly backed by higher education institutions through the provision of assets invested to pay benefits, as in the case of USS.  The UK Government determines both benefits and valuation assumptions for the TPS.

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Blog

Higher education: a diverse range of opportunities for everyone

8 May 2018
UUK's Dan Hurley on the wide range of opportunities higher education provides, and what the Office for Students can do to help universities make further progress on social mobility.

'Opportunity for everyone' shows how universities are opening their doors, but they must build on this for faster change

1 May 2018
On the launch of UUK's 'Opportunity for everyone' campaign, Chris Millward, the Director of Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students, urges all universities to continue making progress.

News

Prime Minister calls for ‘option’ to associate to next EU research programme

21 May 2018
Universities UK has welcomed the Prime Minister’s comments today that she would like to see the UK associate fully with the EU’s next research and innovation programme.

UCU and UUK announce appointment of Chair for USS Joint Expert Panel

18 May 2018
Joanne Segars OBE has agreed to be the Chair of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) to examine the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).