Chair’s report: 22 June 2018

The JEP has continued to gather evidence relating to the 2017 valuation. Evidence was taken from actuarial advisers First Actuarial, who act for UCU, and AON, who act for UUK.

Both firms of actuaries were asked for their views on a number of key aspects of the valuation including:

  • the three tests used by USS, and, in particular, Test 1;
  • the underlying assumptions used in the 2017 valuation; and
  • any alternative approaches that the Panel should consider.

While First Actuarial and AON each had distinctive views, the Panel considered that there were a number of common points and views on certain key areas and that this may be helpful in developing the Panel’s assessment and recommendations.

In addition the Panel considered the submissions received from stakeholders. The Panel was pleased to see good engagement from members and employers with the Panel’s work. The Panel will invite a number of those who have submitted evidence to provide further evidence (written or oral).

Having now met both the USS Executive and the actuarial advisers of UCU and UUK, the Panel took stock of the progress so far and considered how several issues would be assessed against the Terms of Reference. They will be reflected upon and evidenced in the September report being prepared for UCU and UUK.

The Panel continues to make good progress against the Terms of Reference.

The Panel reiterated their call for submissions from member and employer stakeholders on the following issues: the three tests used by USS (in particular relating to Test 1); the prudence or otherwise of the assumptions used by USS; the strength of the covenant; and alternative valuation models and assumptions to those used by USS.

Submissions on these matters or comments for the attention of the Panel are warmly welcomed and should be sent to submit@ussjep.org.uk. All submissions will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Joanne Segars
Chair, JEP