21 Sep 2018
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (21 September) called for an urgent review of policy on public service pensions as a possible 7% hike in employers’ contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) leaves almost half of universities in England and Wales facing a cliff-face of increased costs. The increase in contributions is a sign of a failing government approach to public sector pension schemes, the organisation said.
HM Treasury announced new rules for the valuation of public service pension schemes in September 2018, which applies to three schemes (the TPS, Local Government Pension Scheme and the NHS scheme) of which most staff in universities created since 1992 are members.
Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“News that nearly half of England and Wales’s universities will see a potential 7% increase in employers’ contributions for their academic staff without any phasing or transitional support is of huge concern. These contribution hikes are based on government policy, not university decisions. The panel for the Post-18 Education Review, chaired by Philip Augar, must factor in the major cost increases this will mean for many universities and colleges when considering the cost of provision for students and future funding levels.
“Many will be perplexed by the expectation, trailed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury earlier this month, that there will be a further increase in member benefits without any additional contribution from employees towards the increasing cost of the TPS.
“We need an urgent review of this failing approach to the valuation of public pensions schemes, a policy that the Chief Secretary herself has implied needs to be addressed. I am seeking a meeting with Treasury Ministers on this matter at the earliest opportunity having written to Liz Truss earlier today calling for a review.”
Notes to editors