Statement of the fourth meeting of the tripartite group

29 Jan 2020

The full statement following the fourth 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:

"The Tripartite Group continued to hold productive discussions.

"The Group considered and discussed the Valuation Methodology Discussion Forum which the Trustee had established to support and inform the development of the valuation. The establishment of this Discussion Forum was viewed as a positive development by Stakeholders. It was noted that the Discussion Forum would need to work at pace to ensure the valuation could be completed within the statutory time scale.

"The Tripartite Group went on to continue its discussion on the creation of a Strategic Discussion Forum. The Purpose of the Discussion Forum would be to: consider longer term issues affecting the Scheme; build trust and confidence and to provide a forum for building common understanding; bring the parties together (though other bi-lateral discussions may still go on and be needed). It was not the role of the Strategic Discussion Forum to usurp the position of the JNC or function as a negotiating forum. USS would be regularly invited to the Forum to discuss areas of common interest and to support and enable discussions.  A summary of the Strategic Discussion Forum overview is attached.

"The Group began to consider the JEP’s recommendations in relation to governance and the JNC.  It was agreed to ask a small group of representatives from each of the parties to produce an options paper which considered issues relating to the operation and effectiveness of the JNC, including their pros and cons.  The “Ask” for this workstream is attached.

"The Tripartite Group reconfirmed that its role did not extend to consideration of benefit reform.

"The Group received a helpful presentation from USS on scheme member opt outs and scheme demographics. 

"It was agreed that further consideration of the question of sustainability would be considered at the next meeting."

The fifth meeting took place on 29 January with a statement expected within a week of this date. In a previous statement it was announced that the group will continue to meet until at least March.