ERBS consultation on scheme changes, May 2016

Members of the University of Exeter Retirement Benefits Scheme (ERBS) are aware that the ERBS pension scheme is under review.

The ERBS pension scheme is reviewed every three years to ensure the total amount of pension benefit that needs to be paid out to people in the scheme can be met. This review is called Actuarial Valuation. The results of the 2015 Actuarial Valuation confirms that the ERBS is no longer affordable in its current form and that further changes to pension arrangements for staff in Grades B to D are necessary. This is despite changes made in 2013.

The University has been discussing with the ERBS Trustee Board, and with Unison and Unite, what changes need to be made so that the University can continue to offer an affordable and sustainable pension scheme to colleagues in Grades B to D – one that will provide good benefits for members and more choice for members about the level of contribution they make.

The University is continuing to discuss any proposals with Trade Union representatives so they can share their views.

Proposed changes that underwent formal consultation

In May 2016 the University is proposed closing ERBS to future accrual for current ERBS members and instead offering a new Defined Contribution (DC) pension scheme to current ERBS members, as well as to other colleagues in Grades B to D who have previously chosen to opt out of the scheme and new colleagues who join the University at these grades in future.

It was emphasised that if the proposals are adopted it will not affect any of the benefits current members of the ERBS have built up in the scheme to 31 October 2016: these benefits will be protected. Changes will only apply to benefits that are built up in the new scheme from 1 November 2016.

The proposed DC pension scheme will provide more flexibility for employees with a range of contribution options and investment choices.

Consultation May - July 2016

A 60 day period of consultation (from 3 May to 4 July 2016) let colleagues consider and comment on these proposals.

If you would like to refer back to the consultation document you are able to download a PDF version below:

40 responses were received and 160 colleagues attended 7 information seminars. The University has reviewed all of the responses and agreed revised proposals which have been discussed with trade union representatives. Changes were made thanks to feedback from colleagues and trade union representatives

You can read about the September 2016 update on the revised proposals here