Stalemate ends in bitter university pensions row

The bitter dispute between teaching staff and university officials over pension changes is close to being resolved.

An interim solution where both employers and employees will be required to pay higher pension contributions has been agreed.

The interim arrangement says that the transitional period for which higher contributions would need to be paid would be implemented on 1 April 2019 and last for three years.

The stalemate over pensions has seen academics strike over a number of days in protest at changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Proposals to change the USS from a “defined benefit” scheme, which gives workers a guaranteed income in their retirement, to a purely “defined contribution” scheme, in which pensions are subject to fluctuations in the stock market, formed the focus of the complaints.

The University and College Union (UCU) claims the changes would cost staff £10,000 a year after retirement.

university pensions strike cher
The University and College Union claims the changes would cost staff £10,000 a year after retirement

Members had been expected to strike for five working days this week, rounding off 14 days of industrial action.

A spokesman for the UCU said the agreement would be considered by its higher education committee and branch representatives on Tuesday.

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The strike has resulted in hundreds of thousands of students being forced to miss lectures, seminars and assessments.

More than 60 universities have been affected.

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