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Case study

Bulk transfer out of social housing pension scheme

Pensions & benefits Housing Associations

We advised on bulk transfer out of Social Housing Pensions Scheme for a more cost-effective solution

The background

An association that participated in Social Housing Pensions Scheme felt a lack of control over its own destiny. It wanted the ability to make additional contributions as and when its funding permitted, which wasn’t possible within the Social Housing Pensions Scheme structure. In addition the inherent cross subsidies within Social Housing Pensions Scheme meant that it was paying a considerably higher level of contributions than was its ‘fair share’.

Our solution

Mike Richardson advised the association on the issues around a transfer out of Social Housing Pensions Scheme into its own segregated section within the wider Pensions Trust, and led on the negotiations with the various parties involved.

Mike was able to analyse the association’s participation in Social Housing Pensions Scheme and identify the pros and cons of a transfer, and then use his extensive experience of Social Housing Pensions Scheme to help formulate the transfer proposal in such a way that would be acceptable to all sides. This developed into leading the negotiations and agreeing a deal that minimised the amount of any exit charge that had to be paid.

The results

The association now has its own scheme within The Pensions Trust. It has significantly more influence over aspects such as the assumptions to be used for funding the scheme, the investment strategy and the pace of funding.

It is also protected against the worsening of the covenant of the other employers within Social Housing Pensions Scheme, and is no longer exposed to subsidising the pension benefits of other employers.

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