19 Feb

The Gaming Tavern Welcomes You

We are proud to announce the return of the Gaming Tavern.

The Gaming Tavern Welcomes You [Again]

Since the late days of the happy times of somewhere before 2004 the Gaming Tavern has been home to roleplayers, wargamers, readers of esoteric fiction, writers of esoteric rulebooks, mildly bedraggled wizards, the grumpy dwarf (and the other 6), half awake halflings and, of course, the troll Guvnor.

Guests are able to dry off next to a blazing fireplace full of elfs, listen to a disturningly wide range of music from the gnomic dukebox and sup a yellow wine or crunch through a bag of kobold bollock scratchings.

You are very welcome to enter the recently refurbished Tavern and join in the polite muttering and chatter about elfgames and polyhedral dice.

Login or Register at http://gamingtavern.eu/tavern/

I’m off to get some more firkins of
Black IPA up from the cellar and feed the dragon..

Tom, the Guvnor

02 Feb

USS pension deficit assumptions

Context: The University Employers wish to remove the defined benefit element of the University pension scheme USS, claiming it is running an unsustainable deficit and they are not willing to shoulder the burden with staff to fix it.
If you are a UK academic in a USS pension University, you need to read this:
Unless we challenge the basis for the deficit calculation, we lose people. It becomes an argument about who bears the pain. Of course staff don’t want to pay an additional 2.5% for a pension that will be worse than before.
Our argument has to be that this pain is a fiction, if an artfully constructed mathematical fiction. The “problem” is a mathematical projection of a worst-case scenario constructed on dubious assumptions.
Key facts:
. the pension scheme’s assets grew in real terms by an average 12% pa for the last 5 years
. the scheme is growing as more people are enrolling
. the scheme could continue on a money-in-money-out basis without action for 40 years
On the deficit calculations
. actuaries from the Cass Business School have challenged assumptions of 4% pa salary income over the next twenty years and increases in projected lifespan that are not supported by current empirical data
. the best estimate (median, mode and mean for an approx Normal distribution) projected outcome is +£8bn surplus
. the chance of it being in deficit by 7bn or more is the same chance of it being in surplus of £23bn or more.
#ucu #uss