Pension adjustment period

May 7, 2015

We write with reference to the consultation regarding the proposed closure of the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s final salary scheme. We suggest that the current timescales do not represent an adequate period for changes of the magnitude that are being proposed. We argue that a more appropriate period of notice should be given before the closure of the final salary scheme – minimally five years in order to allow members to make suitable plans.

Colleagues are being informed that after a short consultation period (just 60 days), the proposed changes are to be implemented by April 2016. Why are the proposals being rushed through in less than 12 months? Given the short-term and volatile nature of deficit estimations, not to mention the magnitude of the impact on USS members’ financial circumstances, would it not make sense to take a view formed over a longer span of time?

We suggest that it is unreasonable to close the scheme with less than 12 months’ notice to those who may have been paying into it for many years and who have made long-term financial decisions based on their membership in the scheme.

We urge colleagues to respond to the consultation. In their responses, they may wish to request a more appropriate period of notice (minimally five years) before the scheme is closed to us. Such a focus on this period of notice would produce a critical mass of views and would be more difficult for universities and the USS to ignore than if views are diluted – or not registered at all.

In order to respond to the consultation, googling “USS consultation” will bring up the site – you need your USS member number and your national insurance number to be able to respond.

We understand that the consultation is scheduled to end on 22 May.

Caroline Gatrell
Anthony Hesketh
Luis Araujo
David Brown
David Collinson
Anne Cronin
Corinne May-Chahal
Claire Leitch
Maria Piacentini
Paul Sparrow
Patrick Stacey
Valerie Stead
Imogen Tyler

All at Lancaster University

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