Social Housing Pension Scheme - Important changes and 2017 Scheme valuation

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11.12.17
Social Housing Pension Scheme – Important changes and 2017 Scheme valuation
As some of you will have seen, there have been recent changes to the governance of the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS, ‘the Scheme’) and we wanted to explain this in more detail and what it means for the Scheme’s valuation timetable.

Summary
The new governance framework of the Scheme took effect from 1 December 2017.  In early 2018 we will send you a timeline describing the key stages and the best times for us to update and consult with you on the progress of the Scheme’s 2017 valuation.  In order to allow the new committees time to adapt to their new role and responsibilities, the early stages of the valuation engagement are likely to commence from around March 2018.  

SHPS Committee
We must start by thanking the SHPS Committee for the governance role they have carried out over the years and to the individuals who have given their time and support.

Governance Changes
From 1 December 2017 the existing SHPS Committee has been replaced by two new and separate governance committees: a Scheme Committee and an Employer Committee. 

Scheme Committee
The Scheme Committee has delegated trustee powers and represents the Scheme’s members. This committee consists of four Scheme members plus an independent chair. The role of the Scheme Committee is to manage the Funding and Investment Strategy for the defined benefit structures of the Scheme. This involves agreeing the valuation assumptions and recovery plan with the Employer Committee and deciding the balance of ‘return-seeking’ and ‘defensive’ assets in the Scheme’s investment strategy. The new Scheme Committee members are:
 
Name SHPS membership status 
 Colin Small (Chair; until 31.03.2018) Retired 
 Stephen Duckworth Retired 
Simon Beswick  Deferred 
 John Payne Retired 
 Vincent McCabe Retired 

The appointment of an independent Chair, who will succeed Colin Small on 1 April 2018, is expected to be announced soon.  

Employer Committee
The Employer Committee acts as a representative body for participating employers in the Scheme. This committee consists of seven members nominated and elected by participating employers with a chair elected from within the committee. The main responsibilities are to represent the employers on matters which the Scheme Committee or Trustee needs to consult, for example in relation to the Scheme’s valuation, investment strategy or policy changes as well as to review the performance of TPT Retirement Solutions as a provider and administrator. The new Employer Committee members are:

Name Nominated By 
 Ruth Cooke  Midland Heart
 Simon Charlick  National Housing Federation
 Bob Wilkey  Plymouth Community Homes
 David Blower  Stonewater
 Robert Griffiths  Longhurst Group
 Anne Turner  Network Housing
 Emmy Labovitch Phoenix Futures 

First meetings and next steps
Introductory meetings are being arranged for the two new committees and an early and important task will be to consider the Scheme’s 2017 valuation. These meetings will provide the opportunity for the new committee members to familiarise themselves with their new role and the actions required in respect of the valuation. 

We issued a draft valuation timeline in March 2017 and we are updating this to allow for the changes in the governance arrangements. The timeline, which we will share with you early in the New Year, will set out our engagement with you around the Scheme’s valuation including two sets of employer forums during 2018.

Valuation activity undertaken to date
The SHPS Committee commissioned an independent covenant assessment of the participating employers in the Scheme and the output from this analysis will be considered by the SHPS Scheme Committee.  The Scheme Actuary is preparing the necessary information on the valuation assumptions in order for the SHPS Scheme Committee to agree the assumptions, following consultation with the SHPS Employer Committee. 

On a practical level, work is progressing to plans to prepare and validate the member data for the Scheme Actuary to carry out the calculations.

We look forward to working with the SHPS Scheme Committee and SHPS Employer Committee in the future and we will write to you in the New Year with a firmer view on the valuation engagement timetable.  We thank you for your patience and understanding.
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