As we move towards the end of another year, I want to wish all of our members a very peaceful and happy holiday period.
Looking back, 2019 has been a challenging year for pensions everywhere. The cost of providing good quality pensions has increased, and in almost every country, from Netherlands to France to Brazil, pension reform is back on the agenda. In the UK, almost every scheme – including the two principal schemes for the higher education sector, TPS and USS – has had to increase contributions.
I understand how this has been a difficult journey for USS members: please be assured that we would not embark on this course lightly. We are convinced that these increases are absolutely needed, to ensure the promises made to you are secure for the future. You should rest assured that our sole purpose is to work with higher education employers to provide a secure financial future to you and your families.
However, we will look at all these issues again in 2020, and the report of the Joint Expert Panel will hopefully provide a basis to find some common ground.
While all this has been going on, we have been working tirelessly to improve the service we provide, boost our online offering, and improve the support materials on our website, to help you with the important decisions you make about your future.
Looking forward to 2020, we’ll be improving the USS offer even more – we’re enhancing the investment solutions in our DC funds, and we will be providing new ways to access guidance and decision support, particularly for those planning for retirement.
During the festive break, if you get a chance to spend some time on our website you will find a lot of new material, and I particularly commend our new planning tool, which will support you on key decisions about your future.
For now, however, let me wish you a restful festive period, and a happy New Year from everyone at USS.
19 December 2020