The Superannuation Arrangements
of the University of London

Results of SAUL’s 2017 financial health-check

27 June 2018


Summary of results at 31 March 2017:

  • The deficit shown in 2014 has been eliminated and SAUL has a surplus of £56million,
  • The shortfall between contributions paid in and the cost of benefits has grown, but
  • There will be no changes to benefits or contributions.

Every three years, the Trustee must, by law, carry out a financial health-check, known as an actuarial valuation, which:

  • checks there’s enough money in SAUL to pay the benefits built up by Members so far, and 
  • assesses whether contributions from Members and Employers will be enough to pay for the benefits Members will build up in the future.

The results

The Trustee, SAUL Employers and Trade Unions have agreed the actuarial valuation as at 31 March 2017.

It shows that SAULhas assets of £3,205 million against liabilities of £3,149 million. This means that SAUL’s funding level has improved to 102% with a surplus of £56 million.

The cost of future benefits being built up is 28.7% of Members’ salaries compared to a combined contribution from Members and Employers of 22%. This means the shortfall, known as a ‘contribution strain’ has increased to 6.7%.

Comparison of 2017 and 2014 valuation results



31 March 2014

31 March 2017



£1,927 million

£3,205 million



£1,986 million

£3,149 million


Funding Level




(Deficit) / Surplus

(£59 million)

£56 million


Contribution strain




The outcomes

Given that benefits were changed only in April 2016, and the importance of having stable contributions both for Employers and Members, no further benefit changes or contribution changes are proposed. SAUL has enough surplus to meet the contribution strain over the next few years.

Working with Employers and Trade Unions, the decisions the Trustee has made over the past three years have worked well. SAUL has returned to surplus and, while the contribution strain will need to be carefully managed, the Trustee is optimistic SAUL will remain well-funded in the coming years.

However, the Trustee remains vigilant. Along with SAUL Employers and Trade Unions it has agreed a plan to monitor SAUL’s finances and respond to economic uncertainty. The Trustee will also be reviewing SAUL’s funding and investment strategies to ensure that SAUL remains sustainable and affordable in the long-term.

More information

Full details about the valuation can be found in the full valuation report which has been agreed by the SAUL Trustee and the Scheme Actuary.

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SAUL Trustee Company
1 King's Arms Yard