Just over half (52%) of Unison members voted to accept a pledge to keep defined benefit provision in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) until at least April 2019 in an "above-average" turn-out.
The consultation of 1,300 members took place from 5 April to 13 April - where members were asked directly if they were willing to accept Universities UK's (UUK) proposals to end the USS dispute, according to the union. The offer to keep the scheme open for another year includes a commitment to a review by an independent panel of the scheme's valuation.
The trade union's higher education service group executive agreed to call off a planned ballot for industrial action yesterday.
This follows the University College Union (UCU) announcing on 13 April that staff at universities across the country had accepted an offer from UUK, originally put to members last month.
The strike action involving over 60 universities - which was to continue into next week until May and June was cancelled as nearly two-thirds of members accepted UUK's offer, PP previously reported. Some 64% voted favourably to accept the proposals while 36% rejected them - in a 63.5% turnout.
Meanwhile, the panel comprised of a mix of employer- and member-nominated representatives and an independent chair - will soon meet to discuss the calculations behind the valuation.
UUK and the UCU will also make a joint representation to The Pensions Regulator to seek approval for the proposals. This may include a delay to the submission of the valuation, which is currently due on 30 September, while the panel meets.
Unison head of higher education Donna Rowe-Marriman said the dispute highlighted much of what is wrong with higher education.
"Poor governance had led to poor decision-making which, if left unchallenged, would have led to our members becoming poor pensioners.
"Unison will be seeking improvements in engagement on any future decisions that affect our USS members."
USS declined to comment.
Defined benefit (DB) schemes that provide GMPs must revisit and, where necessary, top-up historic cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) that have been calculated on an unequal basis, a landmark court judgment says today.
Regulators must act now to impose some "proper regulation" to stop another defined benefit (DB) transfer advice disaster, saysTim Sargisson.
Opportunities for defined benefit (DB) schemes to pursue investment approaches that help repair the UK’s economy cannot stand in the way of improving member outcomes, Aegon says.
More members transferred out of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in October after September's record lows while values were surprisingly stable, according to XPS Pensions Group's Transfer Watch.
Joanna Smith says trustees will need to accurately identify if covenant issues are short-term affordability concerns, or the start of more material deterioration.