Academic Pensions

Why do you work (or you want to work) in the Academia? Is it the long hours (around 60 per week)? Is it the lack of holidays (Probably less than a week per year)? Is it the busy weekends (doing research or going to conferences)? Is it the low pay (with our qualifications we could earn double our current salary outside the Ivory Tower)? Is it the pension scheme?…. Well, the pension scheme was probably the one benefit we could get out of being academics. And I say WAS because everything is about to change.

It looks like Vice Chancellors have started a campaign against poor lecturers (me and you) and the rest of the University teachers. They are lobbying for a greater contribution from members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. And in order to achieve such a change they are paying a fortune in PR. They are getting the money from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England). So far, they spent around 627,000 pounds, of which 60,000 went to a pension expert, 15,000 for building a website, 16,000 on communications, 45,000 on legal advice and 10,000 on room hire and catering.

Am I wrong to assume that many of us will soon sing to the tune “Should I stay or should I go?”

For more information take a look at the UCU website

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. 60 hours??? You’ve got to be kidding me. That would be a week with a very light workload.

  2. I am absolutely appalled at this pension business. But what worries me most is the lack of concern among young people. I recently went to a Union meeting at Cardiff where I must have been one of the two youngest people in the room (and I am almost 32). Most people were in their late fifties. Now I understand that people nearing pension age are terribly concerned, but surely young people should be up in arms. I guess the best form of industrial action would be for us to work our 35-hour week for a few weeks and no more. By the way, that would give me a chance to relax in the evening and spend a full week-end with my son.

    • I agree. Our salaries do not compensate for our diminished quality of life!

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