Statement of the seventeenth meeting of the tripartite group

The Tripartite Group (TG) discussion continued to focused on improving the JNC’s effectiveness, ensuring the communications can support trust and confidence between the parties, and meeting the needs of members. The TG received a further update on “quick wins” designed to improve the JNC’s effectiveness, though it was noted that the update had not been reviewed by the JNCEG. The TG felt the wording was helpful and proposed some drafting points.

It was agreed to seek a further meeting of the JNCEG to finalise the “quick wins” which it was felt would make a positive contribution to the operation of the JNC. At its previous meeting the TG group had discussed a draft communications ‘checklist’ the aim of which was to set a blueprint for the tone and approach, content, and actions required from any communication from the Trustee in relation to Board decision-making and the valuation. The aim was to provide stakeholders with greater clarity about how the Trustee had reached particular decisions, and why other options had been rejected.

It was agreed that this should also be used as a basis for formal communications about the Scheme and its valuation issued centrally by the Stakeholders. To provide clarity on its purpose, the TG agreed a preamble to the blueprint. To test its efficacy, it was agreed that the blueprint should be applied to a piece of Trustee communication. In light of the shared concern about the number of member opt outs from the Scheme the TG received a presentation from USS about the number of opt outs, trend and demographic analysis.

The TG welcomed the analysis and felt it gave a helpful perspective on the issues and potential solutions. It was agreed that this could be a helpful topic of conversation for the Strategic Discussion Forum. USS confirmed they would be happy to support the stakeholders’ discussions.