USS benefits on track to be restored to pre-April 2022 levels

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) members’ benefits are on track to be fully restored to pre-April 2022 levels, subject to the 2023 valuation, Universities UK (UUK) and University and College Union (UCU) have said.

According to a joint statement, the scheme is on course to restore the accrual rate of 1/75, with no break in the inflation protection, and the salary threshold to pre-April 2022 levels, subject to the 2023 valuation and consultations.

UUK and UCU have agreed to work collaboratively on the communications for members that will accompany the consultations.

They are also exploring options to improve benefits to a level that makes up for the benefits lost since April 2022.

Stability will be a “key focus” of the upcoming Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) meeting, and UUK and UCU have agreed to develop and implement a “robust and transparent” mechanism for managing risk, which will aim to provide more sustainable benefits and contributions for future valuations.

The USS trustee recently stated that there had been a further increase in the USS’s surplus to £7.6bn, with the cost of restoring benefits estimated to have fallen to 21.8 per cent.

Commenting on the joint statement, UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, said: “When university staff demanded their pensions back, they were scoffed at, ridiculed and told to ‘move on’. But, today, they have taken another big step towards seeing their retirement benefits restored, in full.

“Ever since this dispute began, university staff have backed their union and made huge sacrifices, and, in doing so, have brought the dispute close to a conclusion. But, be under no illusions, we will not take our eye off the ball for one moment and ensure every penny is returned to our members’ pensions.”

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