Pension tensions (1 of 3)

April 7, 2011

In "Candid Cantor" (Letters, 31 March), Daniel Vulliamy misreads Brian Cantor's letter of 17 March on the Universities Superannuation Scheme and quotes him out of context. As Cantor points out, the changes to the USS are moderate - the minimum necessary to address the risks facing the scheme - and include the retention of final-salary provision for existing members.

Vulliamy then contrasts the USS reforms with the Hutton Commission's proposals to close final-salary provision for all public sector employees (including those in post-1992 institutions).

Despite this changing climate, higher education employers are committed to implementing the approved USS changes as they stand - including the retention of final-salary deals for existing staff. We urge the University and College Union members of the USS joint negotiating committee to end their boycott of the agreed process.

The outcome of the pending triennial USS valuation remains uncertain, but the possibility of a deficit cannot be ruled out and the reforms should provide the necessary headroom to address any shortfall.

For existing USS members, the price of retaining final-salary provision is a small rise in member contributions. In the sector's challenging financial environment, it seems perfectly reasonable for increases in pension costs to be shared between members and institutions - unlike in 2009, when institutions' contributions rose to 16 per cent, amounting to more than double that of employees.

Hopefully readers and members will take the time to gather the facts to understand both the case and the context for these moderate changes.

Tony Bruce, Employers Pensions Forum consultant

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald