Posted on 14/10/2013
Update from College
Members of the USS Pension Scheme will be receiving a copy of the scheme's annual report this week, which includes a summary of the funding position for 2013.
The current financial climate and volatility in the markets has affected the performance of the fund and as a consequence the USS fund has reported a deficit of £7.9 billion as at June 2013. To date, the USS scheme has been able to tolerate this level of volatility due to employers’ commitment to the scheme and their ability to underwrite the scheme's liabilities.
In order to manage the deficit, the Employers Pension Forum USS group will continue to work with the USS Trustee Board to develop a plan to improve the position, which they will also discuss with the Pensions Regulator.
Possible options for the scheme are also already under discussion between all USS Employers and the UCU, as the representative of all members, at the Funding and Benefits Group. We will be consulted on any changes the Group proposes. This Group have issued a joint statement on the scheme’s financial position, and you can read that below.
An assessment of the scheme is undertaken every three years and the next assessment is due to take place in March 2014.The Funding and Benefits Group will continue their discussions up to and beyond this next review.
The priority for us, for other employers and for the USS is to secure an attractive, affordable and sustainable scheme for both individual members and employers for the long term.
USS and UCU Joint Statement
USS is not alone in having to deal with funding issues and volatility of this kind; similar issues are facing other defined benefit schemes throughout the UK.
A joint funding and benefits group, comprising employer representatives and the UCU (as representative under the USS rules for all scheme members) was established in 2012. This group’s remit includes the need to take account of the funding position of USS and our objective is to secure an attractive, affordable and sustainable scheme for members and employers in the long term.
Through this group the process is already under way for discussions between the employers and the UCU and discussions are expected to run up to and beyond the March 2014 triennial valuation.
All options remain under discussion and it is too early to be drawn on what the parties will believe to be the right plan for the scheme for the long term.
For more information or queries, please visit the USS website.