Changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) proposed by Universities UK in November raise real concerns. Analysis by the actuarial consultancy First Actuarial has shown that a lecturer starting work today could be £208,000 worse off over the course of their retirement as a result of the changes.
Decent pay and working conditions for those who work in education are vital. Further erosion of USS benefits could reduce the ability of universities to attract and retain staff in an increasingly competitive sector.
I hope a reasonable negotiated solution can be agreed between the University and College Union and Universities UK. A sensible solution would protect the scheme’s members and ensures that the USS remains an attractive scheme for the future.
At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to restore confidence in the workplace pension system and put people rather than profit at its centre, as part of a general aim to ensure security and dignity for older people in retirement.
I will continue to monitor the progress of this important issue.