UK - The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) needs switch to a career average structure and increase the normal pension age to 65, the Employers Pensions Forum urged.
The forum - which represents Universities UK, GuildHE and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association - submitted its proposals for change to the USS joint negotiating committee, made up of employer and employee representatives, last week.
It said its proposed reforms were the minimum changes needed if USS was "to remain a sustainable, attractive and affordable pension scheme".
The scheme currently offers benefits on a final salary basis - with a 6.35% employee contribution topped upped with a 16% payment from the employer.
The forum also recommended a move to ‘fair' cost sharing and implementing flexible retirement options to reduce the burden on the employer.
It claimed scheme costs had risen by £110m (US$166.6m) in 2009 as a result of a 2% increase in employer contributions.
But despite engaging in two years of negotiations with representatives at the University and College Union, the EPF said an agreement had failed to materialise with employee representatives.
Universities UK chief executive Nicola Dandridge said: "The Universities UK Board fully endorses the revised employers' proposals submitted to the USS Joint Negotiating Committee.
"Recently announced cuts, together with the possibility of further severe reductions in higher education funding over the short to medium term, means that university expenditure will need to be significantly reduced."
She added: "In these circumstances pension costs need to be closely controlled and future risks minimised. Without these changes the increasing pension costs will inevitably have an impact on staffing levels and what universities are able to offer their students."
The UCU was unavailable for comment at the time GP went to press.
The Centre for Social Justice is calling for the state pension age to be raised to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2035, a much faster rise than currently planned.
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