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Consultation open on proposed changes to UMSS

07 Aug 2018

Current members of UMSS and those eligible to join are invited to give their views

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Following recent communications regarding the challenges facing UMSS, a consultation on proposed changes to The University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme (UMSS) continues until the end of August.  

Current UMSS members, those staff who are eligible to join the scheme and the recognised trade unions (Unison, Unite and the University and College Union - UCU), can take part in the consultation which is open until Friday, 31 August 2018.

Providing valuable retirement benefits for our staff is extremely important to us. The University wants its staff to have the best possible pension benefits at retirement. However, these need to be affordable for members and the University, both now and in the future.

What changes are being proposed? 

It is important to note that any benefits staff have already earned through UMSS are protected and cannot be altered.  These proposals cover only future build-up of members’ pension funds. It is also important to note that the University is proposing the retention of a Defined Benefit scheme for existing members of staff.  

Members of UMSS who have either already retired and are receiving their UMSS pension benefits, or who have deferred benefits are not affected by these proposals.  These members are not eligible to take part in the consultation.

For existing UMSS members in the current Final Salary and CARE sections of UMSS:

Any benefits members have built up in either the Final Salary or Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) section of UMSS would be calculated as at 31 December 2018 and would remain in UMSS until members choose to take them. These benefits would be increased each year, in line with inflation up to a maximum increase of 5% pa. These members would not be able to build up pension benefits in either section of UMSS after 31 December 2018.   

For existing UMSS members in the current Final Salary and CARE sections of UMSS:

From 1 January 2019, existing members’ future pension benefits would build up in a new 1/100th CARE section of UMSS.  In the current CARE section, pensions build up at 1/80th Pensionable Salary each year. 

Existing employees who have not joined UMSS by 31 December 2018 and new recruits to the University who join after 1 January 2019:

New recruits to the University and current employees who are not members by 31 December 2018 would not be enrolled into UMSS after 31 December 2018.  All new starters from 1 January 2019 would join a new Defined Contribution (DC) pension arrangement. 

In the DC arrangement, the University proposal is for members to choose how much they are able to contribute from 0% to 7% of their Pensionable Salary and the University would contribute between 9% and 16% of Pensionable Salary, dependent on the level of contribution an individual member makes.  

Employees who decide to join the DC arrangement, but may choose not to make any contributions, would receive the 9% of Pensionable Salary contribution the University proposes to make on their behalf into their DC account. 

Existing members of UMSS would also have the option to join the new DC arrangement from 1 January 2019 or at a later date, instead of continuing their membership of UMSS, but would not be able to rejoin UMSS in the future. Further information about these options is available in the information pack sent to those eligible to take part in the consultation.

Taking part in the consultation

Staff eligible to take part in the consultation will have received an information pack outlining the proposed changes and how to take part in the consultation process. This will have been posted to their home address.  If you have not received this information pack contact umss@manchester.ac.uk. During the consultation, colleagues who are eligible to take part will be able to put forward their feedback in a variety of ways:

  • Online: Use the ‘feedback’ button on the consultation website at www.umssconsult.manchester.ac.uk
  • Email: Send your feedback to umss@manchester.ac.uk
  • Paper form: These are available from the Pensions Office in the John Owens Building or HR Reception on the second floor of the Simon Building. 

Nothing will be finalised until after the consultation period ends on Friday, 31 August 2018.  

If the proposals go ahead, colleagues affected will receive more feedback about what the changes are.