UUK and UCU make nominations for USS joint expert panel

UUK and UCU make nominations for USS joint expert panel

Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU) have made their nominations for the joint expert panel that will examine the valuation of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Joanne Segars OBE agreed to chair the panel last week. The joint expert panel is tasked with agreeing key principles to underpin the future approach to the valuation of USS, a key proposal that ended strikes at universities across the country.

UUK’s nominations are Hymans Robertson partner Ronnie Bowie, consultant and non-executive director Sally Bridgeland, and Chris Curry, who is director of the Pensions Policy Institute.

UCU has nominated three academics to the joint expert panel. They are professors Saul Jacka of the University of Warwick and Deborah Mabbett of Birkbeck, as well as Catherine Donnelly, associate professor at Heriot-Watt University.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of UCU, said of the academics selected to join the panel: “Together they bring a huge range of expertise and experience to this important process. I know the final choice was very difficult given the quality of all those who applied to be on the panel, and I would like to thank all those who expressed an interest. UCU is extremely lucky that we have such expertise within our membership.”

Commenting on her appointment last week, Segars said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as the chair of this important panel. I am acutely aware of how important USS is to the sector and to those who work in it. Given the impact that the valuation has on future benefits and contributions, it is vital that stakeholders have confidence in the way it is carried out and I hope the joint expert panel will make a major contribution to achieving this.”

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of UUK, added: “For employers, the joint expert panel offers an opportunity to build confidence, trust and increase transparency in the valuation process. The work that Joanne will lead provides an opportunity to consider the questions raised about the valuation by scheme members and employers.”

The formation of the joint expert panel stems from UUK proposing an end to the defined benefit element of the USS, in a bid to tackle spiralling costs and a deficit of approximately £7.5 billion.

But UCU and its members engaged in a number of organised strikes over the proposed changes, affecting one million students at more than 60 higher education providers around the UK.

Categories: News, UK Pensions

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