The University and College Union (UCU) in the UK is currently in dispute with the employers at ‘pre-1992’ universities, represented by the employer association Universities UK (UUK), over proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). But anyone trying to build up an informed opinion of the proposals and counter-proposals is faced very little accessible information, even less of which is intelligible to anyone who isn’t an accountant, preferably an actuary. This post just seeks to collate some of the sources I’ve found useful as I try to work out what to think. Hopefully others will also find it useful.
- Susan Cooper from Oxford University has a personal page with information about both the UUK proposals and the UCU response, including what seems to me a very lucid alternative approach to reform: http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/users/scooper/USS/
- Dennis Leech from Wawrick University has a blog with a useful FAQ about the USS and the proposed changes at http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/dennisleech/entry/uss_faqs_1/
- UCU Edinburgh has a page summarising the UUK proposal and the UCU response: https://sites.google.com/site/ucuedinburgh/news/pensions
- An interesting and critical account of the UCU approach by Lee Jones can be found at http://thedisorderofthings.com/2014/11/05/the-politics-of-the-uk-he-marking-boycott/.
- In the comments there’s a link to the UCU’s counter proposals as of 6 November 2014: http://www.ucu.org.uk/circ/pdf/UCUHE236.pdf.
Update 14 November:
- The UCU has released a pension modeller to provide an indication about the effect of the proposed reforms on your pension. Bearing in mind the intricacies mentioned above, it is nevertheless vastly more useful than the ‘model career trajectories’ previously released by both UUK and UCU. See http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/whats-my-pension/