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Pensions tensions

Two documents confirm the squeeze that all universities now face over pension schemes for staff.

Yesterday, the MillionPlus group of teaching-led, post-1992 universities published its response to the Department for Education’s consultation on the impact of changes to employer contributions in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. A day earlier, the trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme had published a framework for contingent contributions that it said were necessary to enact the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel convened by Universities UK and the University and College Union.

Together, the two publications suggest that university budgets in every corner of the UK are about to be squeezed by the demands of rising pension costs. This is before the review of post-18 funding in England is expected to recommend a cut in tuition fees without a corresponding makeweight from the Treasury.

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