USS CEO to stand down in 2023

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) chief executive, Bill Galvin, has informed the trustee board of his decision to stand down from his position in 2023.

Galvin will step down after a decade in the role but will continue to lead USS until his successor takes charge.

The search for his successor will be led by USS Trustee Board chair, Dame Kate Barker, who praised Galvin’s tenure as chief executive, stating: “Bill has been an outstanding leader for USS: passionate about the scheme’s purpose, about its people, and about the vital importance of quality pensions to the higher education sector.

“Under his guiding hand, USS has become one of the most high-performing and efficient private pension schemes in the country.”

Barker also stated that while the board will be "very sorry" to see him leave, Galvin's decision "is rooted in what he believes is in the best interests of USS".

Commenting on his departure, Galvin said: “A decade is a long time for a CEO to lead any organisation. I believe it is important that organisation leadership does refresh periodically, and earlier this year started to discuss the implications with Dame Kate.”

The resignation follows ongoing tensions between the USS and University College Union, with universities having faced 'unprecedented' strikes amid concerns over recent changes to the scheme.

UCU is also currently in the process of balloting 68 universities over the issue, urging universities to restore pension benefits after the scheme revealed a significant improvement in its funding level, although USS employers have argued that the current contributions are already at the "very limits of collective affordability and sustainability".

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, identified Galvin’s departure as an opportunity for the union, stating: “As Galvin leaves USS, there is an opportunity to usher in a new era and ensure the scheme works in the interests of the staff who pay it.

“There is no credible argument against revoking the cuts and restoring pension benefits – and a commitment to that must be forthcoming. If it isn’t, university staff will deliver the biggest wave of strike action UK higher education has ever seen.”

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