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The University has organised a series of open meetings to support members during the consultation process.

This briefing about a consultation for members of USS (and for those staff eligible to join the scheme) has been prepared by the Pensions Working Group in consultation with Cambridge UCU.

Members of USS should be aware of the contribution increases for both employees and employers that are being proposed by the USS Trustee under the scheme’s cost-sharing rules. To read more about the background to these proposals, see the end of this article or click here.

There will now be an employee consultation on these proposed increases. All affected members of staff (both those actively contributing to USS and those in USS-eligible roles) are being consulted.

Your views are important and your feedback will be read and considered by the USS Trustee and the University before any final decisions are made. You can comment on any of the changes, including the proposed contribution rate increases, and the schedule for the introduction of those increases.

The consultation will run from 9am on 3 September 2018 to 5pm on 2 November 2018. All affected staff will receive hard copies of the consultation documents by 31 August. Members can submit their responses to the consultation online via the consultation website or in hard copy (sending the latter to Sue Curryer in the Pensions Office at Cambridge).

On the consultation website, members can access electronic copies of the consultation materials, as well as FAQs and videos covering various topics around the consultation. USS have also provided a ‘ready reckoner’ to illustrate the effect of the contribution increase on net pay. Cambridge staff should note that the spine points named on this reckoner do not correspond to Cambridge salary spine points: staff should ignore the spine point labels and look instead for the figures that correspond to their annual salary/monthly take-home pay. Please note also that the salaries in the ready reckoner include the UCEA recommended pay increase of 2% for 2018-19, which was implemented for Cambridge staff in September 2018.

Information meetings

The University has organised a series of information meetings to support members during the consultation. They will take place at venues across the University in September and October and will provide further information about the proposed changes and how they will affect members, as well as giving staff a chance to ask questions. They are not part of the formal consultation feedback process, but provide information to support employees in engaging with that process.

A list of these meetings, with links to book your place, is below. A recording of one of the meetings will be made available online for those staff who cannot attend a meeting in person.

Date Time Venue UTBS Link
 Thursday
27/09/2018
10.00 -12.00 Lecture Hall, Lady Mitchell Hall, S015, Sidgewick Site Book here
Friday 28/09/2018 10.00-12.00 McCrum Room, Corpus Christi Book here
Monday
01/10/2018
10.00 -12.00 Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site Book here
Monday
01/10/2018
14.30- 16.30 The Triangle Building, NWG1G2G3 Cambridge Assessment, Shaftesbury Road Book here
Tuesday
02/10/2018
10.00 -12.00 Post Doc Centre, Eddington Book here
Thursday 11/10/2018 10.00-12.00 Clifford Allbutt Building (CAB) lecture theatre, School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrookes Book here
Thursday
11/10/2018
14.00- 16.00 Post Doc Centre, Eddington Book here
Friday
12/10/2018
10.00- 12.00 The Triangle Building, Seminar 123, Cambridge Assessment, Shaftesbury Road Book here

Background information

In parallel to the USS Trustee’s work on cost-sharing, a Joint Expert Panel (JEP) made up of member and employer representatives is meeting over the summer to review the tests and assumptions used in the 2017 USS valuation. The panel is expected to report in September and this report may provide a basis for new proposals for benefit reform. If different benefit arrangements are agreed as a result of the report, the USS Trustee will move to implement them, but this could take up to twelve months. Cost-sharing would therefore still be implemented as a bridging measure between 1 April 2019 and whenever the revised benefit arrangements come into effect. There would also be a member consultation on any revised benefit proposals.

You can find more information on cost-sharing on the University’s website:
https://www.staff.admin.cam.ac.uk/general-news/update-on-uss-pension-dispute-further-details-about-cost-sharing

Information is also available from Cambridge UCU:
https://cambridgeucuaction.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/the-uss-cost-sharing-contribution-increases/

This article was updated on Wednesday 17 October 2018 to include a link to the consultation website and the date of the implementation of the UCEA pay increase at Cambridge.