USS delays valuation by fortnight amid 'urgent' A-level matters

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has announced a two-week delay to its scheme valuation, which was initially due to be published this week, amid issues around A-level results.

The USS confirmed that in light of the “urgent and difficult matters” relating to A-level results and admissions, it had agreed a two-week delay with Universities UK (UUK).

A spokesperson for the USS stated: “We have been clear throughout the process that, given the unprecedented circumstances in play, the timetable for the 2020 valuation will be kept regular under review.

“Consistent with this commitment, we have agreed to reschedule the formal launch of the TP consultation with UUK to Monday 7 September.”

The scheme also confirmed that employers will still have the full eight-week period to consider and “make clear their views to UUK” until 30 October, with a “consolidated response” to be provided by UUK following this.

A spokesperson on behalf of USS employers stated: “We have jointly agreed with the USS trustee to a short delay in the launch of the first statutory consultation on the 2020 valuation of the scheme.

“This two week period will allow university members to concentrate on the urgent and important work they are doing to support students through the current a-level results and admissions challenges.

"It will also ensure the pensions covenant work can be progressed further and the broader context for the valuation to be presented to sponsoring employers.”

Also commenting on the delay, a spokesperson for the University and College Union (UCU) added: ‘We are currently involved in discussions around the assumptions and methodology for the valuation.

"We hope for a strong covenant to allow for a long-term view of USS that recognises the underlying strength of the higher education sector.

"This delay will allow us more time to discuss the challenges surrounding the valuation with universities.

The USS had said that it would be proceeding with its 31 March 2020 valuation as planned, despite triggering a funding measure breach amid Covid-19 market volatility.

The scheme previously stated it expected to meet the statutory deadline for the valuation to be filed with The Pensions Regulator of June 2021, after both the schemes’ 2017 and 2018 valuations were filed “well after the statutory deadline”.

TPR has since also provided trustees with further discretion to delay scheme valuation’s, to an extent, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the news that the scheme’s DB deficit had doubled to £12.9bn amid Covid-19 volatility, the USS also confirmed that if conditions at the end of June were read into 2018’s valuation assumptions, technical provisions would further increase to £20.2bn, whilst the self-sufficiency deficit would increase to £34.4bn.

The USS also confirmed however that it will be reviewing all assumptions for the 2020 principles, as well as using a new valuation methodology, after publishing a discussion paper to sponsoring employers on proposed changes in March.

Last month, the scheme confirmed that it will be consulting with UUK over September and October for the 2020 valuation and will be proposing a dual discount rate approach.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

How the bulk annuity market is changing
Laura Blows speaks to Peter Jennings and Prash Mehta from Just about trends in the bulk annuity market and how this could impact trustees hoping to secure insurer engagement in 2022 and beyond
DC master trusts
Pensions Age editor Laura Blows, editor of Pensions Age look at developments within the DC master trust market with Paul Leandro, partner at Barnett Waddingham, and Mark Futcher, partner and head of DC at Barnett Waddingham.

Advertisement Advertisement