USS valuation: extended deadline for JNC decision

The negotiating timetable on USS benefit reform is being extended, with a final Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) decision now anticipated on 18 December.

It is very important that the JNC - made up of representatives from UUK and UCU equally, plus an independent chair – makes a decision by this new deadline of 18 December. This is because there are several statutory commitments to meet between the point of decision and 30 June 2018, when the valuation must be submitted to the Pension Regulator. These commitments include member and employer consultations on any changes to benefits and/or contributions following the JNC’s decision.

The new deadline of 18 December is thought to achieve the appropriate balance between providing sufficient additional time for negotiations and ensuring that the trustee’s statutory deadline can still be met. UUK has also committed to further informal engagement with UCU, and has proposed a further intensification of meetings.

UUK has engaged very closely with UCU on the valuation over many months. There have been more than 20 meetings relating to the valuation between UCU and UUK (including JNCs) since January 2017.

If the JNC does not reach a decision by 18 December, the USS trustee will, according to scheme rules, need to impose one. This would involve significantly increased costs to both employers and member employees at a scale that most universities and some members are likely to find unaffordable.

UCU is basing a lot of its messages on figures from reports it has commissioned from First Actuarial. The response from the USS trustee to First Actuarial’s first report counters some points made by UCU and its advisers. In order to help USS members understand the arguments from all perspectives, we have provided links to these two documents below.

Detailed information
If you wish to review the detailed material for yourself, you can access:

You can stay up to date via the USS pension In Depth section which is updated with related information once available to the University.