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y UCU Left y Join us at uculeft.

org y

Defend collective
J End marketisation
ust as climate change deniers refuse and in surplus.
to acknowledge the evidence of USS have been forced to admit that UCU has a major role to play in this. We
climate change so our pension even in their pessimistic terms, a rate need to fight to defend our pensions,
scheme is being driven into the ground of return of just CPI+1.3% means the and in doing so raise the demand that
by pension deficit doom-mongers who scheme breaks even. Yet they continue Higher Education should be free for all,
ignore reality. to ignore the fact that the scheme has publicly funded and accountable.
USS has been forced to reveal that the never had such a low rate of return in its Students should no longer be seen as
scheme has an £8bn cash surplus, and entire history. cash cows and staff should be rewarded
was in surplus to the tune of over £3bn with decent pay and conditions - and
when it was moved from final salary A neo-liberal raid our pensions protected.
into 2016. The real surplus has grown: This manufacturing of deficits continues Members are angry that their long-
so what is the problem? despite the facts. The reason is simple. term commitment to Higher Education
They have also been forced to admit The Conservative government, USS and is being destroyed before their eyes, and
that their projected deficit is reliant our employers want to destroy collective – to add injury to insult – their pensions
upon manufactured assumptions which pension provision. being taken away from them.
have now fallen apart. This attack is part of a broader neo- The employers and USS will put
But USS is still persisting with their liberal political raid on collective Defined forward their proposals to close, or
campaign against our pensions. Benefit pension schemes. virtually close, the collective scheme
They retain their demand to Indeed, the May government is from 13 November.
end the collective defined benefit explicit in its aim of destroying Defined USS spokespeople will present
(Career Average) scheme so they can Benefit pensions and making it easier for their reasons as if they were a logical
replace it with an individual “defined employers to change their commitments eventuality deriving from internal
contribution” scheme. to pensioners. problems of the scheme.
The senior DWP official responsible But these ‘reasons’ are a masquerade
An artificial deficit for pensions, Charlotte Clark, for a conscious, orchestrated, political
USS’s artificial deficit model assumes acknowledged only this week that, raid on our pension.
that interest rates will not rise for at with resistance to destroying pensions In this situation, actuarial arguments
least the next ten years. Yet last week growing, ‘this is probably our last chance and evidence are not enough. We have
they rose by 0.25%, and thereby wiped to make changes to the DB sector’.1 to take action against the political attack
out over half of the manufactured £5bn Make no mistake: we are in a fight on our pensions, and make common
deficit! A 0.1% rise in interest rates with the Government to defend our cause with our colleagues and students
reduces the projected deficit by £1.2bn. pensions. This is a fight we can win. in order to do so.
The manufactured deficit also relies The Tory Government is lurching We have to cut through the lies and
on an assumption that returns on from one crisis to the next and it could organise the resistance.
assets held in the scheme will generate collapse at any time. We now have to begin the process of
negative real returns (CPI-0.53%) over The marketisation and privatisation of balloting to ensure escalating industrial
the next ten years. Higher Education is also at risk if student action in the New Year, leading to strike
With stock markets rising further fees are scrapped in England and Wales action, marking boycotts, and whatever
last week following the interest rate by an incoming Labour administration. means are necessary to defend our
rise, the scheme assets rose in value Casualisation, gender and other pensions.
and the scheme is now in all probability pay inequalities and the ever growing
in line for a projected surplus, even demand by universities to generate ever
on USS’s reckless Technical Provision larger surpluses can be stopped in the UCU Left meeting today:
assumptions! process. ‘Organising to defend USS’
All of this is to simply state what we In Seminar Room 5
have known all along. In any meaningful At 3pm, or straight after
1 IPE, (2017),
sense the scheme has always been strong to-change-uk-db-sector-says-dwp/10021168.article?