USS Update

8 August 2019

Misrepresentations and failures, but you pay

An investigative journalist, Josephine Cumbo, writing for the FT has revealed that the Executive, Bill Galvin, and the Chair, Sir David Eastwood, of the USS Board of Trustees (which approves valuations assessing the health of the scheme) have been withholding important information (information relevant to decisions that create the so-called “deficit” in the scheme and have increased our pension contributions).

This relates to their approach to valuing the scheme (which puts the scheme into a projected deficit, raises our pension  contributions, and jeopardises the future of the entire pension fund, and of our own individual pensions).

New information shows that the USS leadership have been misinforming members by blaming the regulatory body for UK pensions, the Pensions Regulator (tPR), for the decisions made by USS’s which created the fictional deficit by projecting future income based on “de-risking” to put investments in low-yield bonds. But it has now transpired that not only did tPR never require this from USS, they had rebuked USS in an email in January for (falsely) claiming this. Adding insult to injury, USS have now launched an attack on the whistle-blowing member of the board of trustees who bravely made this deception known to tPR and asked for the information to be given to all trustees.

You can read a briefing on this, and on UCL’s unfortunate position on it, here.

The USS and Employers (UUK) have failed to fully implement the agreement that ended our industrial action in March ’18. They are jeopardising the pension scheme as a result and making us pay more. The union is, therefore, balloting for industrial action in September (more details to follow).

Please check that we have the right address to send your ballot paper to! Log in to My UCU on the UCU Website, or Call UCU on 0333 207 0719 (Lines open 9.15am-4.45pm, Mon-Fri).