Potential USS Pension Reform – UCU Ballot

Published: 28 November 2017

A statement from the University of Glasgow. Please read...

On 31 October in MyGlasgow, we provided an update on the 2017 valuation of the USS pension scheme. This indicated that the changes to the scheme introduced in 2014 have not resulted in the required reduction in the funding deficit which, according to the independent actuary appointed by USS, now stands at approximately £7.5bn.

In response to this, Universities UK (UUK) has proposed further changes to the scheme. The UUK proposals would close the defined benefit element of the scheme and replace it with a version that would operate solely on a defined contribution basis. Death and incapacity benefits would remain on a defined benefit basis. Further details on the UUK proposals can be accessed here:


Any potential changes to future member benefits or contributions are negotiated between UUK and the University and College Union (UCU) in the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC). Once any such changes are agreed they will then be subject to full consultation with all members and prospective members of USS.

As a result of the proposed changes, the UCU has initiated a ballot of its members to seek a mandate for possible industrial action in the New Year. Further information on the UCU position can be accessed here:


The University of Glasgow has set out its position regarding the deficit. We:

  • Recognise the importance of securing the long-term future of the scheme for the good of both current and future members.
  • Recognise that amendments to the scheme are likely to be necessary but would prefer to retain a defined benefit element if possible.
  • Have indicated a willingness to increase employer contributions as part of an overall negotiated solution.

The University believes that its interests are aligned with those of the UCU and that all parties should work together constructively to identify a solution. It is, of course, for members of UCU to decide how they vote in the ballot.

Please look out for further updates in MyGlasgow News

First published: 28 November 2017