To: The USS trustee board

USS must show its workings

13/09/17 - Success!

I'm very pleased to report that the University of Sheffield has decided to post USS's 58-page consultation document online, meaning it is now in the public domain. Many thanks for helping to bring this about! You can find the document as the bottom link on the page below. Please do have a look inside if you have a head for numbers.

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/thedeal/pensionupdates/ussvaluation

This is not the end of the campaign, as the document raises as many questions as it answers. Please continue to sign and share, as we will be sending the petition to the USS trustee board in time for their next meeting on 19 September.

Many thanks for being a part of this campaign!

Sam

USS must show its workings

USS should make its draft valuation report and all associated papers on methodology and inputs public as a matter of urgency.

Why is this important?

The current valuation of the USS pension scheme is critically important to its members, as the results may well lead to cuts to benefits or contribution increases. The assumptions and methods that USS have used in their valuations have caused significant controversy in recent years and continue to do so.

On 1st September 2017, USS released a 58-page report to university finance directors with detail on the calculations behind their valuation figures, but this report has not been made available for public scrutiny.

This lack of transparency is indefensible and should be of huge concern to all USS members, who have as much right as their employers to see the workings behind any figures USS produces and need to be sure that any claims of unsustainability are properly justified.

Categories


Reasons for signing

  • Its important we see the accounts, so the situation can be studied in an unbiased way!
  • Open the books! Including from the past. The destruction of the defined benefit system started years ago. Let's see the figures and actuarial reports from the past few "valuations". USS members have enough expertise between us to assess whether what we are being told is true or not.
  • As both Universities and USS members contribute into this scheme, both sides should have equal access to this report. It is a disgrace that this is not has not been made available to USS members and their representatives. The Universities themselves should make this point. It is a disgrace that they have not done so.

Updates

2017-09-21 10:45:58 +0100

Encouragement from Frank Field MP!

Frank Field MP has responded to the petition, showing support for our aims.

He writes: "the USS is a singular scheme in many respects, not only by virtue of its sheer size and its multi-employer sponsor base, but also due to the sector it serves and the consequent weight of expertise and intellectual rigour that its members are able to bring to bear on the scheme’s workings".

He also added "I hope that you and your colleagues are successful in your efforts to obtain the greatest possible transparency and accuracy in the assumptions used to calculate the scheme’s funding position. The consultation on the draft valuation report can only be a meaningful exercise if it is based on robust and valid assumptions that are clearly understood by sponsoring employers and scheme members alike", and asked to be kept informed.

We are still awaiting a response from USS...

2017-09-19 19:38:30 +0100

Press coverage: Academics urge universities’ pension fund to explain shortfall

The trustees of the UK university sector’s £60bn retirement fund are facing pressure from academics, including leading statistical experts, to explain a growing funding hole in the scheme.

Read more

2017-09-19 19:34:28 +0100

Petition sent to USS!

The petition was sent to USS a few days ago, with a covering letter to Bill Galvin (USS CEO) copied to all trustees and also to Frank Field MP (Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee).

You can read the covering letter at the link below. Will post any responses when they arrive!

Covering letter to Bill Galvin, USS CEO

2017-09-13 15:49:27 +0100
Success badge small

Petition is successful with 1,612 signatures

2017-09-12 10:07:49 +0100

Success! University of Sheffield posts consultation document online

I'm very pleased to report that the University of Sheffield has decided to post the main consultation document online. Many thanks to all who have signed so far for helping to bring this about!

USS 2017 Actuarial Valuation Consultation Document

This is not the end of the campaign, as the document raises as many questions as it answers. Please continue to sign and share!

2017-09-08 12:31:34 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2017-09-07 14:21:21 +0100

Press coverage: USS Members Press Pension to Disclose Secret Document


Joe McGrath, Institutional Investor, 6 September 2017


Members of the £60 billion ($78.3 billion) Universities Superannuation Scheme are petitioning trustees to disclose funding calculations they’ve shared with their employers behind closed doors.

The pension plan members are concerned that they may have to contribute more to the fund, which has a £17.5 billion deficit, or see their benefits cut when the results of USS’s triennial valuation are published next month. The petition, which began circulating Wednesday, has already attracted signatures from more than 400 members.

Read more: Read more

2017-09-06 17:46:20 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-09-06 06:53:30 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-09-05 19:42:19 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-09-05 18:05:28 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-09-05 17:11:08 +0100

10 signatures reached