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Provost's message about the Joint Expert Panel's report and recommendations

17 September 2018

Provost’s update on the Joint Expert Panel's report and recommendations regarding USS pensions.

Portico

Dear Colleagues,

We welcome the findings of the report and thank the panel for its work. I am glad to say that the JEP’s findings were unanimous and estimated a lower rise in contributions than currently being consulted on. The report identifies scope to adjust a number of the valuation assumptions, which is promising.I wanted to keep you updated on developments in the wake of the release of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) report.

With the stock market performing more strongly in the months since the original valuation, the deficit is reduced and the cost of retaining a predominantly defined benefit scheme in the future is feasible. This is an encouraging basis to move forward on. Of course, this remains a challenging issue for us all and I would like all parties to remain constructively engaged so we can achieve the best possible result.

I am still concerned about a number of issues. My chief worry is for inter-generational fairness. We owe it to all colleagues – those coming towards the end of their careers, those starting out, and those yet to come – to do our best in upholding a pension scheme that is fair for all.

I know that the UCL position on this is as important to you as it is to me, so I intend to call a special meeting of Academic Board to discuss the issue. This is to ensure a space to take soundings before the October Council, which will sign off our institutional response to the employer consultation – which commences this week.

The JEP report gives me confidence that we can come together as a community and contribute to a sustainable solution. I’d welcome your feedback so we can keep the conversation moving in the right direction.

Professor Michael Arthur
UCL President & Provost