Commenting on the prospect of another industrial action ballot of UCU members over USS, a spokesperson for USS employers said:
“Necessary reforms to USS have been implemented to avoid huge and unaffordable cost increases for both employers and staff. Employers have repeatedly made clear that their current contributions to the pension scheme – which rose to 21.6% of salary in April - are among the highest in the country and at the very limit of affordability.
Inflationary pressures and the real terms cut in tuition fees means universities are facing an uncertain financial future, and with the 2020 valuation now concluded, UCU should work with employers on common ground – such as redesigning the scheme, improving its governance, and reversing the high member opt-out rate.”
Without the reforms – members would be paying at least 11% of pay (up from the current level of 9.8%) and which would need to rise 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.