Michael Otsuka Profile picture
A Professor in LSE's Dept of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method. Photo not completely up to date. But neither is yours, unless it's a live webcam image.
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Oct 6, 2018 18 tweets 4 min read
.@UCL_UCU has responded on Twitter to my linked blog post "Questions for advocates of No Detriment". Below I expose two problems with their response. 1/
medium.com/@mikeotsuka/qu… In that blog, I ask: "Do you think union members would vote to authorise a strike for a No Detriment elimination of their 1.1% rise for three years rather than accepting the JEP-modelled solution?" 2/
Oct 3, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
.@UCL_UCU branch officers reveal that they misunderstood an important aspect of the JEP report when they pushed for their No Detriment motion today. In the embedded tweet, they write that JEP "don't refer accrual rate to JNC": 1/
In my subsequent exchange with @UCL_UCU that begins with the embedded tweet, I demonstrate that it is just as clear that they refer accrual rate to JNC as that they refer cost-sharing to JNC. 2/2
Oct 3, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
A query for @UCL_UCU regarding their tweet below: 1/
If employers call for a cut to DB accrual from 1/75 to 1/80 in order to keep employer contributions down to 19.3% on a 65%/35% employer/member cost-sharing basis, would that also be consistent, in you view, with acceptance of the JEP recommendations in full? 2/2
Oct 3, 2018 11 tweets 9 min read
It has been over a month since @Sam_Marsh101 submitted his Addendum to the JEP and #USS. If he's right, the current valuation contains a significant, hidden layer of prudence ABOVE AND BEYOND the following that JEP lists here: 1/ I say more about the significance of Sam's Addendum in this blog post, where I also explain why #USS and @GuyCoughlan owe us an answer to Sam's findings. 2/
Sep 29, 2018 25 tweets 11 min read
🚨💣😱.@Cambridge_Uni's response to a 2016 consultation re strength of the #USS covenant has recently been released via FOI. Cambridge disputes PWC's finding of a strong covenant over 30 as opposed to merely 20 years! The following statement in their response is a bombshell: 1/ "We would be concerned if the increase in visibility of a strong covenant was used to support a less prudent approach to the 2017 valuation than that adopted in 2014, either in terms of the assumptions adopted or the time horizon for de-risking." 2/
Sep 26, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
JEP RECOMMENDATION #3: Smooth the cost of future service contributions over at least the next 6 years. As this chart indicates, this would reduce contributions by 1.5%. 1/ #USS's failure to smooth the cost of future service contributions constitutes a significant hidden layer of prudence. See this blog post: 2/
Sep 26, 2018 20 tweets 7 min read
Now that @AlistairJarvis's @UniversitiesUK has opened the linked consultation, it's important for @ucu & #USS members to make the case to our employers to STRONGLY & PUBLICLY support all 4 JEP recommendations. Links below to arguments in support. 1/
ussemployers.org.uk/news/universit… Embedded thread w/ arguments in support of JEP recommendation #2, re lowering of deficit recovery contributions. 2/
Sep 26, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
JEP RECOMMENDATION #2: Deficit recovery contributions (DRCs) reduced from 6% back down to 2.1%. As this chart indicates, this 3.9% reduction in DRCs makes the biggest difference to contributions of the 4 JEP recommendations. 1/ It is also the JEP recommendation that @AlistairJarvis's @UniversitiesUK supports most strongly👇. 2/
Sep 24, 2018 40 tweets 11 min read
.@UniversitiesUK has just published the consultation document on the JEP report that they've sent to employers. (Link.) Some 'live-tweeting' of my reactions as I read this document in real time. 1/
I see that the pdf is protected in a manner that makes it impossible to cut and paste. Gratuitous and annoying. I'm now wasting time creating a cut-and-paste-able version. 2/
Sep 19, 2018 8 tweets 5 min read
@OpenUPP2018 @USSbriefs Though my own perspective on the JEP report is more positive than this brief, this strikes me as a careful, accurate, powerfully argued, elegantly written assessment. A few comments and questions below. 1/ @OpenUPP2018 @USSbriefs Re "...while noting that figures in the range of £19–26bn might be more reasonable and consistent with other calculations made by USS (pp. 55–6)." 2/
Sep 19, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Please read this thread (esp my 17-tweet string farther down) on how @ucu pushing for employers to absorb all 3.2% of JEP contribution increases would simply give employers cover to argue that cutting DB from 1/75 to 1/80th is also consistent w/ JEP:
See also this reader-friendly version of @JeanFind's comments in the thread (tagging JNC negotiators @Sam_Marsh101 @carlomorelliUCU @Flibitygibity):
Sep 19, 2018 17 tweets 31 min read
@DrJoGrady @etymologic On whether Sam's suggested approach really warrants 3 stars in industrial relations negotiating 101, I'd be interested in the thoughts of @guglielmomeardi @JeanFind @PatMcGovern16 & JNC negotiator @Sam_Marsh101 1/ @DrJoGrady @etymologic @guglielmomeardi @JeanFind @PatMcGovern16 @Sam_Marsh101 Background: what's in question is whether @ucu should fully embrace all the proposals & suggestions in the JEP report, including status quo 1/75 DB funded by 65%-35% cost-shared +2.1% employer, +1.1% member contributions. 2/
Sep 18, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
Raised eyebrows over UCL Provost's email re stock market & #USS deficit. In addition to @Will_McDowall 👇see tweets by @vdiazucl @felicitycallard @UCL_UCU @USSbriefs. Thoughts below. 1/
Provost: "With the stock market performing more strongly in the months since the original valuation, the deficit is reduced and the cost of retaining a predominantly defined benefit scheme in the future is feasible". 2/
Sep 18, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read
A blog in which I argue for the importance of acceptance in full by union and employer of the proposals of the Joint Expert Panel on #USS. Further remarks below on the graphed 65%-35% employer member split of contribution increases. 1/
Link: medium.com/@mikeotsuka/uc… Some have questioned my claim that the 65%-35% employer-member split of the 3.2% contribution increase graphed above in the righthand column of Figure 10 of the report is among the JEP's proposals. 1/
Sep 17, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
.@carlomorelliUCU, who is an elected JNC negotiator for @ucu, is circulating the linked open letter calling "for the employers organisation UUK to pay the full 3.2% of additional contributions proposed by the JEP [Joint Expert Panel]". 1/
This is not in conformity w current UCU policy. “HE6 Demand to UCU negotiators: restore USS status quo and re-evaluation” calls for “a UCU and UUK agreement on the status quo for contributions and benefits”. 2/
Sep 13, 2018 66 tweets 24 min read
Okay. I'm live-tweeting again. In a very welcome recommendation, JEP recommends that FOR THIS 2017 valuation, USS revert to the Sept proposed 10 year delay in de-risking and increase Test 1 permitted outperformance of low risk self-sufficiency portfolio from £10 bn to £13 bn. 1/ The increase in permitted outperformance (aka 'reliance on the covenant' or 'gap to self-sufficiency') would simply involve an assumption of growth in the payroll by CPI rather than prudent downward adjustment below CPI. 2/
Sep 5, 2018 20 tweets 11 min read
Sep 3, 2018 18 tweets 7 min read
Consultation on #USS contribution increases opens today. Their website is now live (link). Some differences, on which I comment below, between what's on the website & what's in the hard copy consultation document that we've received in the post. 1/
ussconsultation2018.co.uk/members Here's a link to a pdf of the hard copy consultation document we received in the post. 2/
Sep 2, 2018 19 tweets 7 min read
🚨🚨🚨Link to @Sam_Marsh101's well-documented, sound & explosive addendum to his JEP submission, which reveals a serious failure on the part of #USS to apply Test 1 properly, in a manner that makes sense of its underlying rationale: 1/
medium.com/ussbriefs/adde… Recall my earlier "FALSE PROSPECTUS" tweet on Sam's findings: 2/
Aug 30, 2018 12 tweets 5 min read
Re #USS, @Sam_Marsh101 writes: 1/
But to determine whether Test 1 is currently satisfied, #USS needs to project assets that would be in the fund in 20 years' time, assuming 67% probable investment returns of prudent discount rate are realised. 2/
Aug 25, 2018 12 tweets 8 min read
Here I distill my threads of the past few days into a single message: the @FirstActuarial & @ucu approach to the investment and valuation of #USS is not some radical new theory. Rather, it's in line with the way #USS used to run things, before Bill Galvin took over as CEO. 1/ It's the way #USS ran things from its foundation in 1975 until Galvin took over in 2013. For all of those years, we had DB on all salaries with 1/80th accrual. There was a modest reform in 2011, with the introduction of career average for new members. 2/