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UPDATE on 2017 #USS valuation.

Universities UK has told me:
“Employers support the JEP’s recommendations, subject to acceptance from the USS Trustee and The Pensions Regulator, and to further information for employers on risk and its implications.”

1/
#UUK: ”We look forward to discussions with UCU, and with the USS Trustee, over the coming weeks as we seek a jointly agreed solution.”
2/2
#UUK has further clarified that employers support “all of the recommendations put forward by the panel” – subject to the conditions outlined in earlier tweeted statement.
Read 14 tweets
Thread on yesterday's #UCU Higher Education Committee (HEC), esp UK-wide Pay+Equality dispute + potential next steps. Making efforts to de-jargonify + de-acronym it, but recommend @Rachellaracohen's #USSbriefs23 to understand structures if confused medium.com/ussbriefs/ucus… /1
Y’day’s HEC was another packed schedule for 11-430 meeting. Attendance hit by Thur scheduling (unfortunate but probably unavoidable). Loads of important work + pressing Pay+Equality ballot + USS dispute. For the latter 2 we were considering motions to send to the 7 Nov HESCs /2
HEC = Higher Ed members of the National Executive Committee (NEC). We meet regularly between Congresses to enact @ucu policy as decided democratically at annual Congress, and to make 'steering' decisions in line with this. However "HESC" meetings are also policy-forming... /3
Read 25 tweets
Looks as though @etymologic was right: trying to find that 3rd person is a fool's errand #USS #Test1

@Sam_Marsh101's threads imply:
✅ Current use of Test 1 irremediably broken
#NoDerisking #NoDetriment #NoDeficit
✅ Major governance questions for USS & UUK
#USSstrike 1/
We at @OpenUPP2018 @USSbriefs are collaborating with @Sam_Marsh101 this weekend to get his findings (and, crucially, their implications for current consultation & for #JEP phase 2) into #USSbriefs form so that they can be used by #UCU & #USS Scheme members ASAP 2/
We are all profoundly indebted to @Sam_Marsh101.

His efforts to acquire the necessary data from #USS (in the face of persistence resistance/reluctance) and then to analyse them to expose the car crash of Test 1, have taken over a year.

THANK YOU Sam. 🌿🍁🍃 #USSstrike
3/3
Read 3 tweets
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The sentence "#UUK & the #UCU have since agreed to explore risk-sharing alternatives from 2020, w a particular focus on a #CDC arrangement" pensions-expert.com/Law-Regulation… is particularly interesting, given CDC was not in ACAS agreement (simply discussion on 'alternative scheme designs')
A salutary quotation published today emphasising how easy it is to misconstrue #CDC (collective defined contribution) pensions as DB (NB In #CDC, risk is ALL on the employees): pensionsage.com/pa/CDC-will-be… screen shot with excerpt from article -- about CDC pensions
See also my reflections on #CDC back in July. The more that CDC (currently not possible in UK) is invoked – by various people – as a possible future for #USS, the more that potentiality becomes real. This we must resist. #USSstrike
Read 3 tweets
BREAKING: #USS Joint Expert Panel, reviewing 2017 #USS valuation, has published its report.

Summary of key recommendations to follow:
The Panel looked in detail at the methodology, assumptions and tests employed by the Trustee, and particularly at USS’s ‘Test 1’ which underpins the 2017 valuation.

"In the Panel’s view this test has assumed too much weight in determining the valuation."

2/
The Panel unanimously recommended 4 areas where adjustments to the 2017 valuation should be considered:

1. A re-evaluation of the employers’ attitude to risk, which would result in a re-evaluation of the reliance on the sponsor covenant.

3/
Read 11 tweets
In awe of @USSbriefs colleagues & those #ucu2018 delegates who joined us over the weekend to get on the record 'What happened?' & 'What happens next?' after the extraordinary events at #UCU congress 1/
#UCU Congress was unceremoniously closed c. 1.30 last Friday. Later that afternoon @OurUCU was born. Shortly after that @USSbriefs started – from afar – gathering key eye witnesses & actors (#Motion10 #Motion11) asking if they would be happy to get something on record #ucu2018 2/
Delegates from @ExeterUCU & @KCL_UCU in particular (#Motion10 #Motion11) had gone through an amazingly tough & difficult 3 days (see: exeterucu.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/exe… & kcl.ac.uk/unions/ucu/KCL…). What an incredible job they all did 3/
Read 7 tweets
I have asked #UUK if the March 12 ACAS proposal for #USS valuation, which was rejected by #UCU members, remains on the table.

Headline terms of this offer: £42K salary threshold for DB, 1/85th accrual and 2.5% inflation and revaluation cap.

Response to follow:
#UUK

"Discussions on benefit reform remain paused while we await the UCU response to the convening of a Joint Expert Panel.

We are committed to maintaining a meaningful DB element within any new proposal."

2/
I have gone back to #UUK on this reply as it hasn't quite provided the clarity needed on employers' position.
Read 4 tweets
BREAKING:

#UCU members to be consulted over latest #USS pension dispute proposals
#UCU general secretary Sally Hunt: "These latest proposals were won by the solid action of UCU members and now is the time for them to have their say on what happens next."

Members will be consulted next week.

2/
#UCU: "After seeking some clarification, including that the DB element of the scheme would be maintained while a joint-expert panel considers the valuation of the USS fund, the Higher Education Committee voted to put the proposals to members in a ballot."

3/
Read 4 tweets
#UUK has responded to further questions on the #USS proposal made to #UCU Friday 23/12.

Questions and answers to follow

1/
Q: Has UUK undertaken to remove Jan23 JNC decision completely from the table?
A: As part of the jointly developed proposal agreed at Acas on 12March UUK pledged not to take forward the Jan23 JNC decision & suspended member consultation on it. This commitment remains in place
2/
Q: Is #USS bound to accept the recommendation of the joint expert panel?

A: Under legislation it is the trustee’s role to determine the scheme’s technical provisions therefore the USS Trustee cannot be bound by the findings of the Joint Expert Panel.

3/
Read 8 tweets
What would happen if #UUK was disbanded (or University leaders all withdrew their membership of it) - other than huge cost savings for universities. Just think how many students' tuition fees it takes to pay their staff's salaries. *ponders* #USSstrike #nocapitulation #UCU
UUK income from membership 2017; £7.4 million (p27 of annual report)
UUK Salary costs in financial year 2017: £5.7 million (p30), inc 140-150k for one employee, presumably chief exec. Full report: universitiesuk.ac.uk/about/Document…
#USSstrike #nocapitulation @ucu #ucu @VianBakir1
UUK has ~100 members, so a rough average is £74,000 per member university. Which is 8.2 student years per university (assuming 9k/yr/student). I can think of better ways of spending that money #USSstrike #nocapitulation @ucu #ucu @VianBakir1
Read 3 tweets
This looks like good news from @TPRgovuk, opening the door to a #USS deal on the basis of the Sept 2017 valuation involved in the initial @UCU recovery plan, if only the remaining hold-out VCs will accept this. 1/x
But we should in any case beware one kind of mistake which comes from treating @TPRgovuk as some unmovable exogenous constraint on a #USS deal. (1) The #tPR view itself is in part a function of VC’s avowed positions on risk levels. 2/x
And, (2) as @AdamJTucker has pointed out, there is a good degree of flexibility in how @TPRgovuk operates, and its regulatory framework allows space for appropriate intervention from the government. See embedded thread:



3/x
Read 19 tweets
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