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University staff pensions at serious risk with new scheme underway

Posted by Hannah Walker in

A new model done by First Actuarial for the union has revealed that changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme could see faculty lose up to £20,000 from their pension. The University and College Union has warned staff of serious cuts if the new scheme goes ahead, and plans to open a ballot in 67 universities across the UK, demanding that action must be taken. The ballot will open on 1st October until the 20th October. In addition, the union seeks to plan a marking boycott and to refuse to set exams.

The modeling done for UCU distinguished between losses among different types of staff. One professor, aged 40, would see a 27% cut to their pension: With a salary of £75,000, they joined the Universities Superannuation Scheme at age 25 and will retire at approximately 66. According to the new changes, their current pension of £46,050 a year would see a loss of £12,446 a year giving a total loss of £230,251, assuming a life expectancy of 84.5 years. According to the reports, figures show that in the new scheme the 150,000 staff that currently pay into USS would be contributing to filling their £7bn funding gap. Universities UK has explained that it seeks to find the right scheme with a more affordable "hybrid" that is "targeted on scheme members with the lowest incomes." UUK has announced that further consultation plans will be published early next year.

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