7. Ballot papers

The University and College Union (UCU) is the recognised negotiating partner of UUK within the USS pensions scheme. As its website states, the union ‘represents over 110,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.’ Continue reading “7. Ballot papers”

6. Summary so far

In the first sections of this narrative, I have taken a long way round to explain how that critical, still only partially-known event, the September valuation constultation and survey, came about. The pensions regulatory framework had long been shifting, from a model based on long-term investment to one based on speculative finance and ‘risk’. This had led to Defined Benefit schemes being decreed to be ‘in deficit’ and hence ‘unsustainable’. Continue reading “6. Summary so far”

3. Risk and regulation

We may begin with the Universities Superannuation Scheme – a long-established fund with an appealingly archaic title. USS is governed by a board of twelve: three members appointed by UCU (generally people who have held office in the union), four members appointed by UUK (current or former Vice Chancellors), and five ‘independent’ members. The latter are all people with careers in finance Continue reading “3. Risk and regulation”