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Think tank proposes path to pensions progress

The Universities Superannuation Scheme should stop trying to offer one solution to the needs of all universities because “different employers have different outlooks”, a leading education think tank has said.

On 7 February, Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, suggested “three avenues” to help resolve a row over proposed changes to the pension scheme, which covers the vast majority of academics at older universities. The 2017 valuation found a deficit of £7.5 billion in the defined-benefit scheme, which led vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK to propose changing it to a defined-contribution scheme. This would produce more uncertain returns for employees.

The UUK proposal resulted in 14 days of strike action by staff at 65 UK universities in 2018, and as yet no solution to the dispute has been agreed.

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