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.
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.
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.
From 1 December 2017 the existing SHPS Committee has been replaced by two new and separate governance committees: a Scheme Committee and an Employer Committee.
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:
||SHPS membership status
| Colin Small (Chair; until 31.03.2018)
| Stephen Duckworth
| John Payne
| Vincent McCabe
The appointment of an independent Chair, who will succeed Colin Small on 1 April 2018, is expected to be announced soon.
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:
| Ruth Cooke
|| Midland Heart
| Simon Charlick
|| National Housing Federation
| Bob Wilkey
|| Plymouth Community Homes
| David Blower
| Robert Griffiths
|| Longhurst Group
| Anne Turner
|| Network Housing
| Emmy Labovitch
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.