Following an Extraordinary Board meeting at Universities UK (UUK) on Friday, 23 March, the University and College Union (UCU) and UUK are proposing to jointly establish a panel of experts to agree key principles to underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the USS fund. The Joint Expert Panel will review the basis of the scheme valuation, assumptions and associated tests.
Pausing benefit reform discussions to get an expert opinion of the valuation is a positive development to build trust and confidence.
The proposal to convene a jointly established panel to examine the current valuation, proposed on Friday, 23 March under the auspices of Acas, is subject to consultation with union members and USS employers.
Support for this process will need to be sought from the USS Trustee and the Pensions Regulator, recognising their statutory responsibilities.
As part of the Acas proposal, UCU will consult its branches and members on ending industrial action.
The Joint Expert Panel will consist of actuarial and academic experts, with a jointly agreed independent chair. Subject to support from UCU members and employers there are a number of practical questions over the composition and work of the Panel, which need to be agreed by UCU and UUK, before the terms of reference for the Panel can be published.
Further updates on the industrial action from previous dates can be found here: