Ballot on revised proposals for USS

UCU ballots members on proposed changes to pension provisions

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UCU's higher education committee (HEC) has decided to seek members' views on proposals to resolve the current dispute. The action which was due to resume on Friday the 16th of January has therefore been suspended until after the ballot has been completed (voting closes on Monday 26th of January at noon).

The original proposal was:

• the closing of the final salary section of USS
• indexing the final salary service by CPI rather than final salary from 1 April 2016
• the move of all members into the current career average scheme based on an accrual rate of 1/80th
• setting a £40,000 earnings cap above which defined benefit career average benefits will not build up
• establishing a new defined contribution pot for contributions on salary over the £40,000 earnings cap, the income from which would depend upon investment performance and would not be guaranteed.

The improvements are:

• an improvement in the accrual rate from 1/80th to 1/75th

• an increase in the earnings cap to £55,000 (above which defined benefit career average benefits will not build up). This means that 100% of salary is now within the defined benefit scheme for more than 75% of USS members, up from 39% of members covered by the originally proposed £40,000 threshold.
• a guarantee that the employers will maintain an increased contribution (from 16% to 18% of salary) for two further valuations for at least the next five years (to 2020)
• an agreement with the employers that any improvement in the USS funding position should be used to improve benefits rather than be used by USS for further de-risking
• an agreement to continue a review of the contested funding methodology adopted by USS.

You can calculate how the changes effect you here

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