Statement of the eighth meeting of the tripartite group

8 Apr 2020

The statement following the eighth meeting between the University and College Union (UCU), Universities UK (UUK) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in relation to the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel's (JEP) second report has been published.

The statement from chair of the JEP Joanne Segars, which can also be found on the JEP website, is as follows:

In light of the emerging issues relating to COVID-19 it was agreed to shorten the meeting to enable stakeholders and the Trustee to respond to current issues.

The tripartite group agreed the final wording of the joint definition of sustainability. This is attached with this meeting summary, along with the Scheme Purpose Statements from the Stakeholders and the Trustee and the Shared Valuation Principles.

The tripartite group discussed the work of the Trustee’s Valuation Methodology Discussion Forum (VMDF), which had continued to meet, and the USS  Discussion Document which had been published since the tripartite group had last met.

Stakeholders noted the publication of the discussion document by USS. A discussion took place on ensuring that the discussion document was as clear as possible. This would in turn ensure that stakeholders (in particular, participating employers) could respond in as full a manner as possible to aid the Trustee’s deliberations. It was agreed to sat up a call with the stakeholders’ actuarial advisers (AON and First Actuarial) and USS to discuss and clarify a number of technical issues relating to the Discussion Document.

The tripartite group learned that the JNC Effectiveness Group was making good progress and would be ready to present its initial views shortly.

The tripartite group received a report from UUK summarising the outcome of their consultation with members on the JEP report and matters relating to the 2020 valuation. Overall, the consultation had revealed strong support for the JEP’s recommendations. Areas of support included having a shared common Scheme purpose, the shared valuation principles and a dual discount approach to the valuation methodology. There was a strong support for the JEP’s recommendations around meeting the needs of members and a desire to explore options around contributions flexibility to address the high level of Scheme opt outs. There was a common view that issues needed to be dealt with in parallel to the current valuation cycle.

It was agreed that the next meeting would take place on 24 March. The final format of the meeting and content would remain under review in light of the current situation.