Lecturers and support staff in 60 universities across the UK are currently involved in strike action due to disputes in changes made to their pensions, pay and working conditions.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are unhappy about changes that have already been made within the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). Future planned changes will see them contributing more each month, only to receive less overall.
Other university lecturers are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Leigh Day are very familiar with the effects of changes made to that Scheme in 2015. These impact younger teachers who were moved out of a final salary scheme into a career average scheme, whilst older teachers and lecturers were protected from the changes. This has resulted in hundreds of teachers and lecturers joining our challenge against the discriminatory pension changes.
Similar to those affected by the 2015 changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, members of the USS have also been moved out of a final salary scheme. Most people’s earnings tend to increase throughout their lifetime right up to retirement, meaning that moving out of a final salary scheme can have a huge impact on the overall value of a person’s pension at retirement age.
Will you be worse off?
The UCU’s analysis of the detrimental changes, including increased contributions and restrictions on defined benefits, concludes that a typical member of the USS will be £240,000 worse off in total. To many, this is a life-changing sum of money.
Bearing the financial detriment in mind, it is understandable why university staff across the UK are now taking strike action. Not only are they losing out on substantial pension benefits, their pay has decreased as a result of the increase to employee pension contributions.
This is not the first time that staff at universities have felt it necessary to strike, and we doubt it will be the last, as long these unfavourable conditions remain.
At Leigh Day, we are proud to be representing members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme with their challenge against the age discriminatory changes in 2015.
If a teacher or lecturer has been moved from the final salary into the career average scheme as a result of the changes made in 2015 to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, they are entitled to bring an age discrimination claim within the Employment Tribunal. If successful, these claims are likely to have the effect that members are treated as if they never left the final salary scheme.
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Blog written by Hannah Reid, Paralegal on the Teacher’s Pensions TeamPosted on