USS employers express ‘caveated’ support for JEP recommendations

Over 90 per cent of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) employers have expressed support for the joint expert panel (JEP) recommendations regarding the 2017 valuation, despite proposing a number of caveats.

Responding to the Universities UK consultation on the JEP recommendations on the 2017 valuation, 93 per cent of employers “expressed support” for the recommendations, on the basis that further work was done by the JEP to ensure scheme stability and sustainability.

Concerns were also raised over the potential additional obligations placed on employers and the need for further information over the valuation.

When asked if employers would accept a contribution rise from 18 per cent to 20.1 per cent, 91 per cent of employers accepted, but added this was the “absolute upper limit” of affordability and the it would have a ”significant impact” of staffing and student experience.

UUK said: “The responses show that the vast majority of employers which responded are generally supportive of the JEP’s recommendations. However, a large number of employers – accounting for over half the scheme’s active membership – expressed important conditions and caveats to their support.

When asked what further information would be needed, employers said they would need a better understanding of risk, what the views of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Trustee and The Pensions Regulator.

The consultation received 127 responses, amounting to 37 per cent of participating USS employers, representing 94 per cent of current active members in the scheme.

According to the response analysis, 183 employers (53 per cent) did not respond, while 36 employers said they did not wish to respond.

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