Update on USS and next steps

The UCU member ballot closed last Friday and resulted in a majority in favour of accepting the proposal, developed at Acas, for a Joint Expert Panel on the USS valuation. The vote was 64% in favour with a turnout of 63.5%. This will result in the suspension of the further industrial action (including action short of a strike).

UUK and UCU will now move swiftly to establish a Joint Expert Panel, appoint a chair, establish the terms of reference and protocols for the panel and agree its membership. The panel’s task is to agree key principles to underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the USS valuation. The panel will consider the valuation process, assumptions and associated tests. It will seek to consider the questions raised by some USS members and employers about the 2017 valuation process. The panel represents an important opportunity to pause for reflection, build confidence and to rebuild trust damaged by the dispute.

It will be necessary for the panel to report in sufficient time for a way forward for USS reform to be agreed in time for implementation from 1 April 2019. If this is not achieved, a consequence could be the imposition of substantial increased costs on employers and scheme members under pensions legislation. UUK and UCU will also discuss a joint approach to the USS Trustee and the Pensions Regulator, fully recognising their statutory responsibilities and accountabilities.

Richard Brooks, Director of HR

Martin Williams, Director of Finance

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