This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'University of Sussex 2018 response to Universities UK consultation on Joint Expert Panel recommendations'.

This is the official response of the University of Sussex, submitted 23 October 2018. 
Question Proposed 

Would your institution support the JEP 
The University would support the 
recommendations regarding the 2017 
recommendations if accepted in 
valuation (Table 2 page 10 of UUK 
full by USS trustee (and TPR if 
consultation document), in overall terms 
subject to the acceptance of such a position 
from the USS Trustee (and TPR as 

What further information would you need to 
The University would need to 
provide a final view for question 1? 
understand whether the USS 
trustee would seek additional 
reassurance for the fact that these 
assumptions would carry more risk 
than their proposed valuation at 31 
March 2017. 
For example, there may be 
requirements from USS which we 
can speculate and comment on.  
  We remain of the view that 
offering contingent assets 
remains extremely difficult 
both in practical terms 
given that we have a 
‘negative pledge’ with our 
lenders and in terms of the 
University as a charity 
offering underpinning for 
liabilities other than the 
charity’s own. 
  We would not welcome 
any proposals to lock cash 
away in an escrow 
account arrangement 
which would deprive the 
University of the use of the 
cash, produce no return 
and be uncertain of being 
returned to the University. 
  We would also be severely 
concerned should USS 
reignite its proposal of 
trigger contributions which 
would be required from 
sponsoring employers 
when certain financial 
conditions occur and with 
very short lead times to 
These may or may not from part of 
any possible proposal for the USS 
trustee to accept the scheme 

running at higher risk. Any 
requirement for underpinning of 
the risk and the likelihood of it 
being triggered is fundamental to 
an assessment of the overall 
acceptability of the proposed 
solution. It would also be important 
to know whether any funding 
required to meet such future risk 
would fall uniquely on employers 
or be shared with scheme 

Employers currently pay 18% towards the 
We have already budgeted for a 
USS scheme and the mandate agreed 
minimum of 19.3% of salaries. The 
immediately following the Acas discussions 
additional increase in employer 
was 19.3%. If the recommendations of the 
contributions to 20.1% could be 
JEP were accepted in full by all the parties, 
accommodated by reducing costs 
the outcome would be that existing benefits –  or investment. 
minus the employer match of 1% [if 
employees opt to pay 1% of their salary into 
DC pit it is matched by the employer]- could 
be provided at an indicative employer 
contribution of 20.1% of salary (with a  
member contribution of 9.1%) 
Would you accept employer 
contributions at that level? 
if not what balance of additional risk, 
higher contributions and /or benefit change 
would you prefer to see as an outcome? 
UUK would like responses which can be 
The University Executive Group 
processes  confirmed as being the formal view of the 
prepared a briefing paper and draft 
employer. Each response should indicate 
response which was discussed at 
how the view put forward was reached. We 
briefing meetings of independent 
strongly recommend that employers ensure 
members of Council (9 October) 
they have sought the necessary input from 
and non-independent members of 
their governing bodies. 
Council (18 October). Minor 
clarifications were made to the 
draft which resulted in the final 
response above, which was 
approved at a quorate full meeting 
of Council by teleconference on 22 
October 2018.