Statement from Jesus College: USS pensions

The College Council issued the following statement to Members of the Society (governing body) on 12th March 2018:

The College Council is very concerned about the impact of the current dispute concerning USS pensions on its fellows, staff and students, and is very keen that a satisfactory resolution should be reached as soon as possible.  

Council has agreed that UUK be contacted to query the status of the College’s partial response to the UUK survey in September 2017. The survey was conducted outside Term and at short notice, and, as was stated in the response, Council was not consulted, and therefore the response did not represent formal College policy. 

Council recognises the concern of many Fellows that there has been a general lack of transparency by UUK and USS in relation to: establishing the 2017 USS scheme valuation; and the national negotiation and decision-making process that has resulted in the current USS benefit proposals. 

Council is aware that many Fellows place great importance on the retention of a Defined Benefit pension and believe that the proposed changes would have an adverse impact on the recruitment and retention of academic staff. Council believes that it is particularly important that the University enables the voices and views of all the Colleges’ USS members to be heard and taken account of during the consultation process that the University has recently launched, and that the University finds ways for Colleges to be properly involved in this process.  

The College has not been involved (directly or indirectly) in any of the discussions and negotiations that led up to the dispute. Nevertheless Council was pleased to see the recognition in the Vice Chancellor’s public statement that pensions form an important component of the remuneration package for staff in the UK higher education sector. It supports the VC’s commitment to resolving the dispute, which was reiterated in his statement of 7th March 2018 to University staff and students