Luke Fenton-Glynn Profile picture
Apr 10, 2018 13 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It is worth considering the likely approach of @TPRgovuk in our dispute in the context of the brand new (19 March 2018) government white paper 'Protecting Defined Benefit Pensions' 1/13…
This white paper, which @TPRgovuk has welcomed (here:…), seems highly favourable to us. 2/13
For one thing, in it, the government commits to strengthening the regulatory framework and @TPRgovuk's powers by introducing punitive fines for those who deliberately put pensions schemes at risk and criminal sanctions for those "found to have committed wilful or grossly ... 3/13
... reckless behaviour in relation to a pension scheme". The white paper makes clear that these sanctions will not merely apply to fund trustees but also to, for example, company directors. 4/13
Now it seems to me we have good evidence that Oxbridge and the bursars of several constituent colleges deliberately put the USS scheme at risk by colluding to undermine the employers' covenant #USSBriefs13 5/13 (see:…)
And @UniversitiesUK certainly appears to have engaged in grossly reckless behaviour in relation to the USS scheme through a survey that @guardian now unequivocally describes as 'botched'. 6/13 (see:…).
Arguably the Oxbridge college bursars who (mis)represented their own, covenant-undermining views as being the views of their colleges also engaged in grossly/willfully reckless behaviour. 7/13
Now, of course, the enhanced powers for @TPRgovuk described in the white paper have not yet been introduced (though @TPRgovuk does already have some important powers to deal with such behaviours). But given that they approve of the government's direction of travel, ... 8/13
... it seems highly likely they will take a very dim view of the events that led up to the Nov. valuation. Hence I think we should push back hard against this valuation (including by REJECTING the present @UniversitiesUK proposal). As @RedActuary has discovered, ... 9/13
... @TPRgovuk has said that "Trustees should not agree an inappropriate valuation or funding plan merely because the deadline is imminent or has been missed" (See: ). This is as clear an indication as we could possibly hope for that @TPRgovuk ... 10/13
... will be flexible on the deadline enforcement & will take a dim view of @UniversitiesUK & USS attempting to force through the flawed Nov. valuation just because the deadline is imminent. Note also that @RedActuary indicates that it seems the Royal Mail valuation wasn't...11/13
... signed off until well after the deadline (see: ). So I think the evidence points to @TPRgovuk being likely to be sympathetic to us & flexible on enforcing deadline. I therefore think we should REJECT @UniversitiesUK proposal & push for ditching ...12/13
... of Nov. valuation which has already been shown to be flawed & is acknowledged as such by several VCs & traditional media outlets. @TPRgovuk will be favourable to Sept. valuation. 13/13 #USSstrike @ForPension @CambridgeUCU @OxfordUCU @JosephineCumbo @MikeOtsuka @USSbriefs

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More from @LukeFGlynn

Apr 16, 2018
The arguments that @UniversitiesUK are making to justify imposing a NEW REAL TERMS PAY CUT on us are ABSURD - as I argue in the thread below. Their arguments are given here:… 1/12 #USSStrike
FIRST ARGUMENT: "HE institutions also feel that the merits of the benefits and working conditions they provide to staff are often overlooked, knowing that they do provide an excellent reward package". RESPONSE: Here they're justifying real pay cuts on the ... 2/12 #USSStrike
... basis of (i) The good pension scheme that they're in the process of ABOLISHING! (ii) The excellent working conditions they provide. What excellent working conditions? Those in which we regularly feel compelled to work 60 hours per week just to stand still?! 3/12 #USSStrike
Read 23 tweets
Apr 9, 2018
5th April press release from @TPRgovuk makes for fascinating reading:… "Trustees and sponsoring employers of defined benefit pension schemes must do more to protect member benefits, The Pensions Regulator has warned." 1/2 #USSStrike
"In its annual funding statement (AFS), published today, TPR says strong employers should consider contributing more money to reduce scheme deficits over a shorter period of time" 2/2 #USSStrike
Indeed, much of what @TPRgovuk says (e.g. here:…) suggests they will take a dim view of reckless destruction of DB pensions. And it is clear that this is precisely what @universitiesuk is up to. #USSStrike
Read 7 tweets

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