Reopen channels

October 7, 2010

We do not agree with all the arguments advanced by Darrel Ince, but it is clear that much has changed in recent months ("Pensions are safe if we don't stop working", 30 September). The Universities Superannuation Scheme is in much more robust financial health than it was in July when Sir Andrew Cubie, independent chair of the USS joint negotiating committee, exercised his casting vote in favour of employers' demands for draconian benefit cuts to the scheme. Its health has improved thanks largely to the abolition of the mandatory retirement age, changes to indexation arrangements and a huge £4.5 billion increase in the value of its assets.

Ince calls for resumed negotiations. The University and College Union is happy to oblige. As he says, it would be "grossly irresponsible" for anyone to do otherwise. So university employers, over to you.

Alan Carr, Honorary treasurer, University and College Union, and member, Universities Superannuation Scheme joint negotiating committee.

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