Skip to SearchSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
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

Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Blog

Bristol Nightingale hospital

Hosting a hospital – how an NHS Nightingale hospital was created in three weeks at UWE Bristol

6 May 2020
UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West explains how the university found itself as one of the hosts for an NHS Nightingale Hospital.

Tackling racial harassment on campus: we must do better

12 March 2020
Universities must do everything they can to set clear cultural expectations, and take action to eradicate hate, writes Professor David Richardson.

News

abstrated illustration of student walking with a university campus in the background

New guidance on mental health and wellbeing – supporting staff and students more important now than ever

18 May 2020
UUK has published a refreshed version of its strategic framework, Stepchange: mentally healthy universities, calling on universities to prioritise the mental health of their students and staff

UUK response to UK government announcement on support package for universities

4 May 2020
UUK's response to the announcement from UK government on providing support for higher education following the Covid-19 pandemic