Reviewing your housing association pension provision

Many housing associations are unsure about the pension choices they make

With a number of pension scheme options available to housing associations, it can be hard to review pension provision and work out whether you are making the right choices.

The housing sector is dominated by two pension schemes:

  • The Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) – a private sector, industry-wide scheme administered by The Pensions Trust with several defined benefit sections and one defined contribution section.
  • The Local Government Pension Scheme – a public sector scheme consisting of 99 regional funds, each run by a local authority. The benefits and member contributions payable are set out in government regulations.

However, some housing associations use:

  • The Growth Plan, run by The Pensions Trust
  • A group personal pension or stakeholder plan
  • A master trust DC scheme
  • A bespoke occupational pension scheme, which may be defined contribution or defined benefit.

How can First Actuarial help?

We have many years of experience advising housing associations on how to manage their pension provision – from full pension strategy reviews to smaller, more focused projects.

If you use the SHPS, we can help you understand:

  • The costs and risks of participating in each section
  • The implications of any changes you may be considering, such as changing the levels of benefit offered to staff, closing SHPS to new entrants or leaving SHPS completely
  • How and when termination debt will be triggered, and what you can do to avoid it.

If you use the LGPS, we can help you understand:

  • Your admission agreement with the administering authority
  • Funding strategies and termination debt policies of your regional LGPS
  • Costs and risks of participating in the LGPS

Why choose First Actuarial?

First Actuarial has highly experienced consultants who specialise in housing association pensions.  We understand the benefit structures and legislation involved in the sector.

With our experience of other housing associations, we can give you guidance on actions that other employers in the sector are taking.

We offer good value for money and fixed fees so you plan your costs in advance.

Get in touch

Get in touch with one of our housing experts to discuss how we can help you.

First Actuarial are very approachable. They’re good at helping managers and Board members digest a very difficult area, and they’ve also been proactive in helping us shape an innovative solution.

- Paul Richmond, Group Director of Finance and Resources, Watford Community Housing

First Actuarial case studies

Aster Group

Housing association Aster Group extended its financial wellbeing programme and brought in First Actuarial to deliver a bespoke Retirement Planner, with supporting webinars and one-to-one sessions.

"People love the one-to-ones and are grateful for them. It’s a valuable offering that would otherwise cost them hundreds of pounds. People recognise it as a real benefit."


Royal Mail

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) enlisted the help of First Actuarial when Royal Mail proposed replacing its Defined Benefit pension fund with individual Defined Contribution arrangements.

“I can’t speak highly enough about First Actuarial – their people have been brilliant. The journey has been inspirational, nothing but a positive experience.”


Cheam School

With substantial increases in Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) contributions looming for independent schools, Cheam School looked to First Actuarial for specialist support.

“We had a very good experience working with First Actuarial. I felt that they were always on the end of the phone, available to help and respond to issues as they arose."

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