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Members urged to vote NO to USS changes

UCU has suspended the assessment boycott for a further period to allow time for members to be consulted about changes to the employers’ proposals for the future of the USS pension scheme. You will receive a message from UCU head office inviting you to take part in an online ballot. Your branch committee has examined the changes to the employers’ proposals and is strongly recommending that we REJECT the current offer.

We acknowledge there are some very minor improvements on the original proposal, in particular:

  • a change in the accrual rate from 1/80 to 1/75 of salary for every year of service
  • a modest increase in the ‘cap’ – the point at which your pension moves from defined benefits (DB) to defined contribution (DC) – from £50k to £55k.

For more details see http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/

We remain concerned that:

  • current final salary members in mid-career could lose over 10%, despite paying more in contributions
  • new staff in the Career Re-evaluated Benefits Scheme would make some small gains but at the cost of even more contributions
  • a DC scheme would be created alongside the DB scheme. DC schemes transfer all risk to members. Under the current proposals, employers will have a built-in incentive to shift as much of the pension scheme as possible into the DC section.
  • USS would provide benefits that are still worse than those provided by the Teachers Pension Scheme
  • some employers have indicated that they want to have more control over the DC scheme, suggesting that that part of USS at least would cease to be national

We are also disturbed that the recent negotiations have taken place on the incorrect assumption that USS faces a serious deficit, despite the fact that the projected deficit is based on a valuation of USS assets that has been thoroughly discredited, not least by some of the employers themselves.

For these reasons we urge you to reject the proposals.

There will be a branch meeting to discuss this on TUESDAY 20th JANUARY 1.15 in 6E2.1

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