USS Pensions Update

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to update you on the latest valuation report published by the USS Trustee.

As you know, pension scheme membership forms part of the University’s overall benefits package which includes the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) for academic and professional services colleagues employed on Grade 6 and above; we currently have around 6,000 members in this scheme. 

By law, pension schemes are subject to a valuation process every three years.  Part of this involves an assessment of the level of contributions required to meet benefits and address any deficit in the scheme.

As the USS Trustee announced yesterday, the Scheme Actuary has produced a report recommending what the overall contribution rate should be in order for the scheme to maintain the current level of benefits.  The report indicates that a minimum increase in contributions (combined employer and employee contributions) of 11.4% above the current rate would be required. USS has released an update for members which can be read on the USS website and has emailed members directly.

The Joint Negotiating Committee comprising UCU (on behalf of employees) and UUK (on behalf of University employers) will now meet to determine how to respond.

The initial statements by UUK and UCU can be read here:

https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/news/Pages/increased-pension-costs-pricing-staff-out-uss.aspx

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11437/UCU-response-to-USS-trustee-update

For our part, the University of Glasgow remains committed to the continuation of affordable and quality pension provision for all members of staff.  We encourage both UUK and UCU to work together and find a way forward.  The University will continue to engage meaningfully in consultations on the 2020 valuation outcome.  We will share information with scheme members and campus trade unions in an open and transparent way and will support members throughout the consultation with regular updates, briefings and workplace events (either virtual or in person).

 A series of pension and financial wellbeing seminars for colleagues are scheduled for next month and we would encourage you to attend these once they are publicised through MyGlasgow News.  

Finally, members are reminded that, as a result of the 2018 valuation, an increase in USS contributions is already scheduled to take effect from 1 October 2021.  From this date, the employee contribution rate will rise from 9.6% to 11%, while the employer contribution rate will rise from 21.1% to 23.7% (a combined rate of 34.7%).

Yours sincerely,

Dr David Duncan

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary


First published: 4 March 2021