SUCU Branch News 25 Sept 2014
Industrial action - USS ballot starts 1 OctDelegates at the Special USS Conference last Friday discussed the threats to the USS pension scheme and the UCU negotiators' recommendation to ballot for industrial action. The Conference agreed to a ballot for industrial action, to be taken if agreement can't be reached. The ballot will start next Wednesday 1st October and close on Monday 20 October. The Universities UK proposal would mean a reduction of thousands of pounds in the annual pension for most members, and indications are that further erosion of the scheme would follow. The proposal is:
- Closure of the final salary section of USS, with all final salary scheme members forced into the inferior career average scheme
- A £40,000 earnings cap above which even the career average scheme will not apply
- A grossly inferior new 'defined contribution' (money purchase) pot for salary above £40k, with a lower employer contribution, the income from which would depend upon 'investment performance'.
- The huge 'deficit' is artificial - USS is healthy and growing. The USS projections involved are contested by UCU and we believe the employers’ proposals are a deliberate overreaction. Since 2011, the fund’s investments have grown by £8bn. Returns on investment have outperformed both average earnings and inflation.
- If the Employers are allowed to introduce a defined contribution scheme then indications are that they would soon end all guaranteed benefits. We know this from experience. We predicted that they would propose ending the final salary scheme once they got the inferior career average scheme in place, and now they are. We predict they will do the same with the grossly inferior 'money purchase' scheme if they get away with introducing it. This must be stopped.