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Joint Expert Panel report on USS Statement from TPR

Ref: PN19-52

Issued: Friday 13 December 2019

A spokesperson for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said: “The issues involved with the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are complex and the constructive engagement of all parties will be crucial to consider the direction the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) has set and ultimately protect savers in the scheme.

“The JEP report’s high-level recommendations, including for effective governance and clear communication during the valuation process, align with our views. In particular we agree with the need to ensure the scheme’s long-term sustainability. The adoption of a dual discount rate broadly aligns with our proposed approach for the new defined benefit (DB) funding code which we will be consulting on next year. It will be important that these discount rates are set at appropriate levels and that there is a clear explanation of the risks for the scheme.

“USS is the largest DB pension in the private sector and understanding the long-term sustainability of the scheme should be a key focus for this, and all DB schemes. As part of our role is to protect savers and ensure that they receive the benefits they have been promised, USS has now entered our one to one supervision programme and so we will continue to develop our relationship with the scheme, while also working with the employers.

“Work is already underway on the scheme’s 2020 valuation. We are working with the trustees to understand the valuation timetable to ensure the 15 month statutory deadline is met, and we look forward to seeing how the trustees and stakeholders will take forward the report’s recommendations.”

Notes for editors

TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Media Relations Manager
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662086

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