On 22 November the USS Trustee confirmed plans to carry out a new valuation of USS as at 31 March 2018. This will allow the USS Trustee to properly consider the JEP's recommendations, in order to take them into account. It will also allow discussions with employers on risk appetite to be reopened, and the latest data and market experience to be properly incorporated into any revised USS funding approach.
Answers to some the frequently asked questions about the 2017 valuation are detailed below. You can also read more about the challenges of the 2017 valuation on the USS website, including USS's role and what changed between the 2014 and 2017 valuations.
- Why is USS required to undertake a valuation?
USS is subject to the Statutory funding objective and is legally required to:
• ensure it can pay member benefits in the future (known as technical provisions)
• set out a policy for meeting the objective
• determine the level of contributions due to a scheme (schedule of contributions).
- What did the 2017 valuation find?
- The 31 March 2017 valuation identified a deficit of around £7.5 billion. As a result USS is legally required to produce a recovery plan which will reduce the deficit and ensure that the scheme's funding position is sustainable.
- What is the financial strength of the sponsoring employers of USS
The basis of the valuation is an assessment of the financial strength of the sponsoring employers (including UCL). It demonstrates to the scheme trustee how much support the employer can provide to the scheme and how much risk can be taken.
- How well have USS investments performed?
USS have outperformed the scheme’s strategic allocation benchmark over all multi-year periods whilst minimising its investment costs to £34 million a year lower than their global peers. Further information on the performance of the USS investment team is available on the USS website.
- Can I assess how well my investments are performing?
You can visit MyUSS to view the current level of your Investment Builder fund.