Commenting on publication of the latest monthly monitoring of the USS scheme for June 2022, a spokesperson for USS employers said:
“It’s really positive news that the funding position of the scheme continues to show signs of improvement. The recent market conditions together with benefit changes – made as part of the 2020 valuation – and the substantial employer covenant support package have helped to put the pension scheme on a better financial footing.
“Without these recent reforms, members would be paying at least 11% of pay (up from the current level of 9.8%) rising to 11.8% of pay from October 2022, with all USS participating employers having to find at least the means to pay 23.7% of contributions, increasing to 25.2% from October 2022.
“Financial markets remain highly volatile, and the USS Trustee believes that, given such volatility, it is unable to alter contribution levels or benefits outside of a new full valuation. We therefore want to work collaboratively with UCU to find ways to fast-track the next valuation – scheduled for March 2023 – so it can deliver positive changes for scheme members as quickly as possible.
“We also want to work collaboratively with the union to bring about meaningful reform by developing lower-cost options for members, considering alternative scheme designs, and conducting a thorough USS governance review. There is a real risk that any further industrial action may limit the union’s ability to engage with important discussions on the future of the scheme and impede efforts to accelerate the next valuation.”