The employers' representative is asking that UCU returns to talks on the future of the scheme and attend a meeting next Tuesday, 27 February.
It is of paramount importance that both sides make every effort to meet – despite the ongoing industrial action – to stop any impact and disruption to students.
Universities UK has never refused to continue to try to find an affordable, mutually acceptable solution. We would be willing to discuss a credible proposal that addresses the significant financial issues the scheme is facing.
The problem that we share as interested parties in USS is that, to continue to offer current benefits, contributions would have to rise by approximately £1 billion per annum. The scheme has a £6.1 billion deficit and there has been an increase of more than a third in the cost of future pensions.
Universities UK published an open letter today – signed jointly by the President of Universities UK Professor Dame Janet Beer and Universities UK Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis – stating that employers want 'to continue to discuss any credible, affordable proposal'. See the letter in full on the Universities UK website.
USS is one of the largest private pension schemes in the UK and is the principal scheme for academic and comparable staff in UK universities and other higher education and research institutions. Universities UK is representing the views of more than 350 higher education employers on USS reform proposals.
USS is governed by a clear set of scheme rules. Any changes to these rules need to be decided on through the JNC. The JNC brings together an equal number of representatives from Universities UK and the University and College Union. The JNC has an independent chair who oversees discussions between employer and member representatives, and can choose to cast a deciding vote if agreement between both parties cannot be reached.