The University of Southampton is currently consulting with UNISON and Unite on its intention to close the local pension scheme for staff at grades 1 through 3 (the scheme is known as PASNAS).
UNISON Regional Organiser Mike Wilson said:
“The University argues that the PASNAS pension scheme is too expensive to maintain, and wishes to move to a defined contribution scheme. PASNAS is a defined benefit (final salary) scheme. The University bases its position on the 2015 triennial valuation. The 2018 triennial valuation is due to take place this summer, but the University has so far refused to postpone its plans until after the results of this years valuation come through.
“UNISON disagrees with the basis of the University’s assessment. Our assessment, having studied all the available data, is that PASNAS is sustainable as a final salary scheme. It is not in the state of peril that the University suggests. We have made counter-proposals which the University is currently considering.
If PASNAS is replaced with a defined contribution scheme then that would shift all of the pension risk from the University onto our members. Considering that the University recently borrowed £300million from the stock market to pay for new building works, and that they pay their Vice Chancellor substantially more than £400,000 per year (more than 20 times as much as our typical member at the University), UNISON believes that the University is taking an unacceptably cavalier approach to members’ future financial security.”
UNISON’s University of Southampton branch has created a 38degrees petition calling on Ian Dunn, the university’s Chief Operating Officer, to abandon plans to get rid of PASNAS. They’re asking anyone / everyone to sign the petition in support of the branch’s position.