UCU fights and wins on an extension to USS early retirement factor change

UCU fights and wins on an extension to USS early retirement factor change

The UCU Superannuation Working Group (SWG) have been engaged with USS since January 2024 regarding proposed changes to the Early Retirement Factors from 01 April 2024. Early Retirement Factors are the percentage reduction applied to a member’s pension if they retire before their Normal Pension Age (NPA). The further you are from NPA, the larger the reduction.

However, changes proposed from 01 April 2024, if implemented, would have meant a significant difference in pension entitlement between members retiring on 31 March 2024 and from 01 April 2024 onwards. Along with UUK, the SWG Negotiators met USS on a number of occasions to seek a delay to the implementation date. As per this linked USS communication, this change has now been delayed to 01 October 2024.

This delay is very much welcome and will give members considering Early Retirement the time to look at the finances of such a decision, engage their families, engage employers, and take independent financial advice. But 6-months is not long.

Given this, UCU would advise any member who is considering seeking early retirement in the next 12/18 months to take steps immediately to assess their options. It may well be that remaining in employment is the best option, but members should seriously consider all options now.

Financial Information can be obtained from Annual Pension Statements and the MyUSS portal on the USS website. We would encourage members considering early retirement to speak with family and employers now. For those members who see Early Retirement as a real option before 01 October 2024, we would suggest that members engage USS for necessary financial information before seeking independent financial advice. Members should note that UCU has a partnership arrangement with Quilter Financial –  UCU – Financial advice from Quilter Financial Advisers – who may be able to assist.

While SWG are unable to stop the changes to Early Retirement Factors, this delay is significant as it provides members the time needed to consider all options and take advice. And while they will be continuing to meet USS on Early Retirement Factors going forward, they urge members considering Early Retirement to use this time well.

Higher education disputes: updating contact details on MyUCU

Higher education disputes: updating contact details on MyUCU

Plans are underway to hold the biggest ever aggregated ballots of the entire higher education sector regarding the pay and working conditions dispute (Four Fights) and USS pensions. The industrial action ballot will run during the autumn and UCU will be communicating with HE branches and members regularly over the next weeks. UCU will be in a position to share campaign details and timelines in the very near future.

Keeping clean data is vital to our success. Therefore, we are asking all our members to please check your details by logging onto MyUCU. Please make sure that the following details are correct/up to date:

  • Preferred postal address (where you will receive the industrial action ballot)
  • Preferred email address (where you will receive UCU’s emails including local branch emails and the Friday Email)
  • Mobile phone number (where we have current mobile phone numbers for members, this will greatly assist in ‘get the vote out’ (GTVO) efforts involving ThruText, the peer-to-peer SMS texting platform.)
  • Employer and workplace
  • Membership category (N.B. certain membership types such as retired members and student members are not included in industrial action ballots; members can also upgrade their membership on MyUCU if necessary)
  • Employment income band

Are you retiring this summer, leaving LU or taking parental leave?

If you will be retiring over the summer, these are the options with regard to your UCU membership.

If you are leaving LU and will be unemployed for any time, see here for more details on the ‘attached unemployed’ membership.

Members who are currently on parental leave can use MyUCU to inform the union. Members who are on parental leave/extended absence will be excluded from industrial action ballots for the duration of the leave. For more details please see here.

Issues logging on to MyUCU

If you encounter difficulties logging into MyUCU, this is very often because you have not registered to use MyUCU yet. You can register for MyUCU here. If you have already registered and still can’t log in please get in touch with the branch and we will assist you in resolving the issue.

Tax Relief on UCU Membership Subscriptions

We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that you can claim income tax relief on your UCU subscription. For more information on claiming tax relief please see here.

LUCU Committee