UCU recently emailed members regarding USS claims that the current pension scheme is yet again in a precarious position and that there is a need to increase contributions to protect the benefits of scheme members.
As before, the actuarial assessment that they have commissioned is based on the most pessimistic of predictions of the performance of investments, and UCU is again challenging the validity of the approach. We will no doubt hear more about that in the coming weeks and months.
USS believes that an increase in overall contributions of 6.6% is necessary to retain existing benefits, but your employer has already declared itself unwilling to bankroll even a share of that increase. Whispers even suggest that our own institution may well have been at the front of the queue when that particular declaration was made.
It is worth recognising that our FE Colleagues in the TPS Scheme already enjoy significantly better benefits that their HE counterparts, which presumably means either that USS are less successful at making shrewd investment or that they are more interested in a burgeoning surplus than they are in serving the needs of their investors (i.e. us!).
Whatever the reasoning, it is important that UCU makes a principled stand against this direct assault on what is after all your deferred income (not some free cash bonanza as some would have us believe). Members are urged to make sure that they make their feelings known by firstly participating in the consultative vote, a link to which (unique to each member) is contained within the UCU email from Sally Hunt that will have arrived in your inbox on Tuesday 19th.
Please vote – whatever your view. Your participation is vital.