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All-staff briefing on Pensions: video available

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Pensions was the theme of the all-staff briefing on Wednesday 19 May. Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort was joined by HR Director John Brady and Finance Director Andrew Grice to discuss some of the issues related to the USS pension scheme.

The session followed the all-staff briefing on Pensions in March, in which the three speakers spoke about the different pensions schemes at our University.

Introducing Wednesday’s session, the Vice-Chancellor reminded colleagues about the large deficit that the USS Trustee had reported in its latest valuation of the scheme.  “Both Universities UK, which represents the universities, and the UCU, which represents the individual members, have clear concerns about the valuation itself and have expressed these in their strongest possible terms to the USS Trustee,” he said.

“However, neither Universities UK nor the UCU can do much about the valuation. Valuation is the responsibility of the USS Trustee, who act principally to protect the pensions benefits we have all accrued.”

Robert said, as things stood, the deficit returned by the valuation would need to be made up with a significant increase in contribution that our University and members of the USS make to the scheme. “It is now the responsibility of the Universities UK and UCU, through the JNC (Joint Negotiating Committee) to determine how this increase in contribution is going to be paid.”

HR Director John Brady said that deficit concerns were not new and the USS Trustee had continued to report deficits since 2011. He said this had already resulted in increased payments from the members institutions and individual members over the past decade. John outlined the Trustee’s proposals on maintaining the current levels of benefits and what this would mean for members.

Finance Director Andrew Grice spoke about the impact of USS on the finances of our University. He said that every additional 1% on the employer rate would also add £1m to our staff costs.

Andrew add provided illustrations of what increased contributions would mean for net pay of colleagues. He also outlined the alternative proposals that Universities UK had made.

John and Andrew's presentation can be accessed using this link, and a video recording of the session is below: 

 You can also access the video directly on Microsoft Stream.

The next all-staff session is on Friday 28 May and will follow the publication of the Race Equality Review Report. Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort will be joined by the co-chairs of the Review, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Parveen Yaqoob and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Allan Laville, to talk about the report and its recommendations.

All colleagues will be sent an Outlook Calendar invite ahead of the session. If you have any queries, please contact

Videos of recent all-staff sessions

Here are links to some of our other recent all-staff briefing sessions:

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