Employers do not have to pay pension contributions to any employee on strike

University and college employees that join the picket lines to protest against pension changes may not receive pension contributions from their employer while they are on strike.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), who provide the current final salary pension scheme, reminded employers that they do not have to pay into any employees pension while they are on strike.

A statement released by USS said: “Employers do not have to pay pension contributions during any period an employee is on strike and on the assumption you are not paid during any strike days you will not pay any contributions, unless you have made arrangements with your employer in advance of the strike action.”

A UCU spokesperson said: “We’re confident our members will not be deterred from joining the picket line, as the proposed draconian changes to the pension scheme have incited a lot of anger. For academic and related-staff, their pensions package is deferred pay that compensates for the lower salaries they receive carrying out research and teaching in universities, than they would get if they chose to use their highly specialised knowledge and skills elsewhere.”

Ongoing disputes over the future of University employees’ pension package led to strike action taking place across London on Tuesday March 22. Further action is planned for Thursday March 24.

UCU are protesting against plans to increase the age of retirement for its members, increase employee contributions to pensions and to abolish the final salary aspect of the current pension scheme.

Changes to the pension scheme require agreement from UCU and the Employers Pension Forum (EPF) at meetings with USS. UCU has not attended recent meetings preventing the implementation of changes.

You can view the full USS statement here: http://www.uss.co.uk/news/Pages/Effectofstrikeactiontomembers%27benefits.aspx

You can view UCU’s statement on strike action here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5421&from=1676

You can USS’s most recent statement on the changes here: http://www.uss.co.uk/news/Pages/USSStatement1.aspx

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