Pensions plea

November 9, 2007

Correspondents targeting Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (Letters, October 26) fail to understand the purpose of the higher education employers' review of pension provision in the sector.

We need to ensure that there is a sustainable and affordable pension scheme for all staff in future. A strategy to overcome the serious cost pressures that now threaten final-salary schemes is not an option but a necessity. The majority of private-sector employers have closed their final-salary schemes, and public-sector schemes are introducing major reform, including a pension age of 65.

The employers have started the debate and will talk with all stakeholders, including unions. Final-salary pensions schemes in higher education are valued by all, but future provision will rely on constructive union engagement.

Declan Leyden, Ucea
Tony Bruce, Universities UK

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