Pensions Dispute – Act now to save your pension

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Your pension next!

By now you will have heard that the USS fund is at least £7bn in deficit.  The employers and the pensions regulator are going to use this astronomical sum to do away with your final salary pension.  This figure of £7bn is magical accounting – the USS fund is highly solvent (see Dennis Leech’s blog for more on this http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/dennisleech/entry/uss_is_highly/).  This attack on your pension is both ideological and unnecessary.

IF WE DO NOT ACT NOW WE WILL LOSE THE FINAL SALARY PENSION SCHEME

What does this mean for you?

Let’s assume that you live for 17 years beyond retirement.  If the changes to the pension benefits the employers are trying to implement become reality then:

As a lecturer you could lose over £70,000
As a senior lecturer you could lose over £140,000
As a professor you could lose over £290,000

 We have to act fast. The employers intend to have the new benefits structure in place by March 2015.

 We will need a HUGE campaign to defend our pension entitlements and we encourage you to vote YES to strike action and action short of a strike in the upcoming ballot (1st to 20th October).

 If UCU negotiators can go to the employers with the knowledge that they have a mandate from the membership for industrial action and a dynamic campaign – we have a much greater chance of saving our pensions.

 Also, it’s worth having a close read of the article about the upcoming dispute on the time higher website http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/uss-reforms-seen-as-radical-attack-on-pensions/2015786.article ​ – particularly the bit about previously accrued benefits. This is going to get messy!​

More details of the ballot can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk/circ/pdf/UCUHE230.pdf

 The exec recommend voting YES to taking action on this urgent issue.

Special Branch Meeting to Discuss Pensions: 12th September, 1pm, Laurie Grove Baths Council Room

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In response to proposed changes to the USS pension scheme and a possible collective action from UCU, the branch has called a general meeting for Friday, Sept. 12th at 1pm in Laurie Grove Baths Council Room. All members are encouraged to attend.

The USS pension scheme, which staff at Goldsmiths are part of, may be facing changes. The USS Board have proposed a new, hybrid version of the scheme in order to counter a deficit in funds. UCU are committed to investigating all proposed changes to see exactly how they will affect members. More details can be found here:

http://www.ucu.org.uk/circ/pdf/UCUHE225.pdf

In the briefing above, the union warns that ‘there is little doubt that both the USS Board and the employers are considering solutions to the funding situation that will reduce the benefits available to members.’ The union will consider taking action in response to such changes.

There will be a special meeting for all affected branches on the 18th of September, to which Goldsmiths will send delegates.

Please join us on Friday 12th Sept 1pm in Laurie Grove Baths Council Room to keep updated about exactly what may happen to your pension scheme, to express your own views, and to elect delegates for this meeting.