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USS and National Pay Bargaining update

John Brady

The work of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) established to review the basis of the USS valuation is progressing, and there have been further developments in the national pay bargaining process.


The JEP has now met on four occasions. Its members have met with USS (including their advisors) and the Pensions Regulator in order to establish the principles behind the current valuation and obtain the Regulator’s view. They have also taken evidence from actuarial advisers, First Actuarial (who act for the UCU) and AON (who act for UUK). The JEP has noted that while the respective actuarial advisers have distinctive views, there are a number of common points and views on certain key areas that may be helpful in developing the panel’s assessment and recommendations.

The JEP has invited submissions from member and employer stakeholders on the following issues:

  • the three tests used by USS (in particular relating to Test 1);
  • the prudence or otherwise of the assumptions used by USS;
  • the strength of the covenant;
  • alternative valuation models and assumptions to those used by the USS.

Formal notes of the JEP meetings can be viewed here

National Pay Bargaining

I reported previously with details of a final pay offer submitted by UCEA, on which the national trade unions were consulting with members.

UCU has reported that members have voted to reject the employers’ offer, and they will now be conducting a national ballot on industrial action. The ballot is likely to open in August and close in October, but no precise dates have as yet been confirmed.

UCEA will now be arranging for meetings to take place under the JNCHES dispute resolution process.

I will continue to provide updates as and when further information is available.

John Brady

Director of Human Resources

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