Statement from Pembroke College: USS Pensions

by Becky Coombs

Pembroke responded to UUK’s September consultation with a balanced position, stressing the need to weigh up benefits and risk in order to ensure sustainability and fairness in pension provision.  This response was drafted by the Finance Manager, in consultation with the Bursar and Finance Secretary, and stated that the consultation was received out of term and was necessarily written without consulting the Governing Body.

At a College Meeting on 13 March 2018 the Governing Body reaffirmed that our fiduciary duty leads us to balance the need for a fair and competitive employment package including pension provision for our employees with the need for prudence in the management of our finances.

We continue to believe in maintaining defined benefit pensions, and continue to indicate our willingness to pay increased employer contributions at the very least until the next valuation.

We note the agreement that was announced on 12th March and has been since superseded, and recognise it as an improvement on previous proposals but still wish to be able to offer better defined benefit pension provision to our employees and would be prepared, in the short term, to contribute more for this.

We recognise that there remain significant differences of opinion on technical aspects of the scheme valuation and support an emerging consensus that a better valuation process, by a more diverse group of experts – including academics – must be part of the agreement that takes the sector out of the present dispute.  All aspects of this process must ensure transparency, trust and respect.

13 March 2018