Housing briefings

Our briefings give employers in the housing sector regular updates on relevant pension developments and issues.

  • 2024

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    Housing Briefing, May 2024: TPT DC Changes Delayed

    TPT Retirement Solutions (TPT) has recently sent an updated communication to employers about the planned developments to their Defined Contribution (DC) schemes, including the DC section in the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS). The main message in this communication was that these developments will now be delayed. In this briefing,…

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    Housing briefing, May 2024: FRS 102

    In this briefing, we look at the factors that will drive the changes to employers’ pension cost accounting positions as at 31 March 2024.

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    Housing briefing, April 2024: TPT changes to DC schemes

    TPT Retirement Solutions announced changes to the Defined Contribution (DC) schemes they run in a recent communication to employers. In this briefing, we outline the developments proposed and what they mean for employers and members.

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    Housing briefing, January 2024: Pensions calendar

    In this briefing we provide our housing pensions calendar for 2024, with key dates and deadlines to be aware of.

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  • 2023

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    Housing briefing, November 2023: Autumn Statement

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered his Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023. In this briefing, we discuss several key announcements, including the ‘pot for life’, and changes to the Lifetime Allowance, National Insurance and the State Pension.

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    Housing briefing, November 2023: LGPS cessation

    We’re looking forward to talking all things pensions with SFHA members at SFHA’s Finance Conference on 14 and 15 November 2023.

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    Housing briefing, August 2023: LGPS cessation

    In this briefing, we explore what is happening with cessation valuations, why employers in the LGPS might reasonably be concerned, and what you can do about it.

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    Housing briefing, March 2023: Special finance edition

    Once again, First Actuarial’s specialist housing team will attend the Housing Finance Conference and Exhibition. This briefing focuses on some of the key pension issues for finance directors and managers, including FRS 102, the 2022 LGPS valuation, the 2023 SHPS valuation and changes to auto-enrolment contributions.

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    Housing briefing, January 2023: High inflation and the Annual Allowance

    In this briefing we examine the relationship between high inflation and the Annual Allowance. We discuss what it means for housing associations, particularly those employers in the LGPS and SHPS schemes.

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    Housing briefing, January 2023: Housing pensions calendar

    In this briefing we provide our housing pensions calendar for 2023, with key dates and deadlines to be aware of. We also offer a quick run-down of all the pension services we offer to housing associations.

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  • 2022

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    Housing briefing, December 2022

    This briefing sets out the findings from our third annual survey, which looks at FRS 102 results and assumptions as at 31 March 2022 for the social housing sector. Our survey covers 234 results, representing over £11bn in pension accounting liabilities.

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    Housing briefing, November 2022

    There remains some uncertainty around the validity of historical SHPS changes, interpretation of those changes, and the administering of benefits. This briefing provides an update on the SHPS benefit review and the views of the specialist housing team at First Actuarial.

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    Housing briefing, September 2022

    In this briefing, we examine the 31 March 2022 LGPS valuation results in light of subsequent market volatility. We discuss the impact of market changes on housing employers and recommend actions.

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    Housing briefing, August 2022

    This briefing covers three areas: the Scottish Housing Associations’ Pension Scheme (SHAPS) changes to National Insurance contributions from July 2022, and value for money in DC schemes.

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    Housing briefing, July 2022

    Uncertainties around member benefits and employer liabilities following the SHPS benefit review are causing widespread concern. This is another pensions headache for housing employers, and we have every sympathy. In this briefing, we answer questions that many of our clients have asked us in recent weeks.

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    Housing briefing, June 2022

    The Trustee of the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) is going to court for a ruling on whether they have been paying the correct benefits to members. This means uncertainty for members and potential additional liabilities for employers to fund. We explain the key issues and why they matter.

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    Housing briefing, May 2022

    In this briefing, we highlight some of the key pension issues from the start of 2022, with a focus on important pension cost accounting issues to consider for 31 March year-ends.

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    Housing briefing, April 2022

    For most housing associations, 31 March means year-end and the preparation of annual accounts. Participation in any Defined Benefit scheme gives flexibility in choosing the assumptions used to calculate pension accounting costs. This briefing reviews FRS 102 requirements and outlines how market conditions have changed over the last 12 months.

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    Housing briefing, February 2022

    First Actuarial’s housing team is holding a webinar at 11am on 31 March 2022 (LGPS Day) to discuss a number of topical pension areas, focusing on year-end accounting and the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

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    Housing briefing, January 2022

    2022 promises to be another busy year in pensions, and our 2022 Pension Calendar will help you plan for the year ahead.

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  • 2021

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    Housing briefing, November 2021

    First Actuarial will be attending this year’s Social Housing Annual Conference in London on 25th November 2021. This briefing covers the sector’s many pensions hot topics we’ll be discussing with housing professionals.

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    Housing briefing, September 2021 – Social housing FRS 102 survey 2021

    We set out the final results from our second annual survey of FRS 102 results and assumptions across the social housing sector. Representing over £11bn in pension accounting liabilities, it’s the biggest DB pension survey of the sector, providing powerful insights into the funding of its DB liabilities.

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    Housing briefing, August 2021 – SHPS valuation results

    In this briefing, we provide a full analysis of the 2020 SHPS valuation results and what they mean for housing associations. There has been an improvement in funding level, to 77% at 30 September 2020. However, the funding deficit has also increased, to £1.56bn.

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    Housing briefing, July 2021 – Latest results from the 2021 FRS 102 survey

    This briefing highlights initial findings from our second annual survey of FRS 102 assumptions and results across the social housing sector. So far, our survey has covered 216 separate accounting disclosures, with more than £11bn in pension accounting liabilities in total.

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    Housing briefing, June 2021

    The 2020 valuation results for the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) were expected by May, but have yet to be published. In this briefing, we discuss its likely impact on pension provision in the housing sector.

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    Housing briefing, May 2021 – Financial wellbeing case study

    In this special housing briefing, we provide a case study of a housing association which extended its financial wellbeing programme and brought in First Actuarial to deliver a bespoke Retirement Planner with supporting webinars and one-to-one sessions.

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    Housing briefing, April 2021 – Pension Cost Accounting as at 31 March 2021

    We discuss pension cost accounting disclosures under FRS 102 as at 31 March 2021. Many associations will see an increase in their FRS 102 balance sheet deficits this year. However, default FRS 102 assumptions provided by TPT, LGPS funds or scheme actuaries should simply be a starting point for consideration.

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    Housing briefing, March 2021 – First for pensions in the housing sector

    In this briefing, we outline how First Actuarial’s services can make a positive difference to your housing association and why we’re a bit different.

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    Housing briefing, Budget 2021

    Government is providing significant support to businesses and individuals in this unprecedented period. But will this new debt need to be repaid? And will we need to balance the books at some point? This briefing focuses on the pensions highlights from Budget 2021.

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    Housing briefing, February 2021 – Salary Sacrifice

    Introducing salary sacrifice for the payment of pension contributions can result in a win-win outcome, with National Insurance savings for both you and your employees.

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    Housing briefing, January 2021 – 2021 Pension Calendar

    2021 promises to be another busy year in pensions, and our 2021 Pension Calendar will help you plan for the year ahead.

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  • 2020

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    Housing briefing, December 2020 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    2020 has been a year like no other…but for all the wrong reasons. In this briefing, we take a look back at some of the key developments over the last 12 months for pension scheme trustees and sponsors.

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    Housing briefing, November 2020 – The calm waters before SHPS arrive.

    Our themes this month are strategy and governance, words that get thrown around all the time…and rightly so. We are currently sitting in the sweet spot between LGPS and SHPS valuations; LGPS contributions are set now until 2023 and the SHPS valuation results are almost upon us. However, there are…

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    Housing briefing, October 2020 – LGPS – Do you have to exit through the gift shop?

    In our August briefing, we outlined new flexibilities offering housing associations an alternative exit route out of the LGPS. With new legislation in place, this briefing considers the potential options available when planning to end benefit accrual. Is this a chance to exit via a conveniently open side-door rather than…

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    Housing briefing, September 2020 – It’s time to talk tax…pensions tax

    It’s that time of the year again when Annual Allowance statements are issued to members of executive teams and senior management who have saved too much in their pension scheme over the last tax year (2019/20).   But what do these statements mean? What action can staff take? And is…

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    Housing briefing, August 2020 – New flexibility to leave the LGPS

    Government is to amend LGPS regulations to give employers more flexibility to end benefit accrual without paying a huge exit payment upfront. This briefing will cover this development in detail, and will take a look at the NHF’s draft Code of Governance and how pensions fit in. Finally, don’t forget…

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    Housing briefing, July 2020 – SHPS Day webinar

    The next funding valuation of the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) has an effective date of 30 September 2020 and contributions are, once again, subject to review. First Actuarial is holding a webinar at 11am on ‘SHPS Day’, to guide you through the valuation process and how to be ,…

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    Housing briefing, June 2020 – FRS 102 survey results

    In this briefing, we publish the full reslts of our inaugural annual survey of FRS 102 assumptions and results across the social housing sector. The survey’s 202 responses cover over £7bn of pension accounting liabilities, making it the biggest ever Defined Benefit (DB) pension survey of the sector.

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    Housing briefing, May 2020 – Webinar: Covid-19 and your employees

    First Actuarial is offering a Covid-19 wellbeing webinar, available on-demand to all UK employers and their staff, free of charge.

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    Housing briefing, April 2020 – Pension cost accounting as at 31 March 2020

    The past month has seen unparalleled volatility in financial markets due to Covid-19. For housing associations with a 31 March accounting year end, this means assumptions and disclosures are likely to be materially different from last year. In this briefing, we explore the impact of financial markets on your FRS102…

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    Housing briefing, March 2020 – Covid-19: 7 key actions

    The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting countries around the world and causing widespread disruption. We consider how this unprecedented crisis is impacting on pension schemes and sponsoring employers, and identify actions housing associations should consider taking.

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    Housing briefing, February 2020 – Pensions cost accounting assumptions

    For many housing associations, 31 March means the accounting year-end and the preparation of annual accounts. Whether you have LGPS liabilities, SHPS liabilities, or any other Defined Benefit pension scheme liabilities, you can control what assumptions are used.

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    Housing briefing, January 2020 – LGPS funding agreements

    The LGPS 2019 valuation marks an important decision point for housing organisations. As negotiations over future contributions continue, we highlight key issues to be aware of, and report on a number of funding agreements we’ve already helped put in place.

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  • 2019

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    Housing briefing, December 2019 – Pension calendar 2020

    Our 2020 pension calendar gives key dates and deadlines for housing association staff with pension responsibilities.

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    Housing briefing, November 2019 – How competitive is your DC scheme?

    Employers are keen to offer DC contributions that are affordable yet attractive enough to help recruit and retain talented staff. To help you benchmark your DC scheme, our latest briefing discusses the range of DC contributions paid by more than 100 UK housing associations.

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    Housing briefing, October 2019 – SHPS bulk transfers

    Bulk transfers from the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) commonly occur at this time of year and 2019 has been no different, with three First Actuarial clients successfully moving their share of SHPS assets and liabilities to another pension arrangement. Find out more.

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    Housing briefing, September 2019 – The latest LGPS valuation

    The first results of the 2019 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) valuation are being released over the next two months, and a picture is starting to emerge. Read our September 2019 briefing and sign up to our forthcoming webinar to find out more.

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    Housing briefing, August 2019 – Navigating the Annual Allowance

    Annual Allowance issues have been in the news recently in relation to NHS doctors. However, the Annual Allowance can have an impact in a wide range of schemes. This briefing gives an overview of the Annual Allowance regime, and discusses how employers can identify employees affected and support them.

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    Housing briefing, July 2019 – LGPS consultation summary

    This bulletin is a reminder of the key areas covered by the LGPS consultation and provides a link to First Actuarial’s response.

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    Consultation response, July 2019 – LGPS valuations and employer risk

    First Actuarial’s response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s policy consultation “LGPS: Changes to the Local Valuation Cycle and Management of Employer Risk” (May 2019)

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    Housing briefing, June 2019 – LGPS funding agreements

    Our June briefing covers cessation debts, which will form part of the latest triennial valuation of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). We also look at Funding Agreements, which set out the terms applicable when a cessation trigger occurs.

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    Housing briefing, May 2019 – FRS102 FAQs

    The online tool for employers to download their FRS102 disclosures for the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) was released on 13 May 2019. This is the first time that full defined benefit (DB) accounting has been applied to SHPS and it will be a learning curve for some employers. Our…

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    Housing briefing, April 2019 – SHPS: double deadline day

    April’s bulletin reminds you of two important deadlines for the 30th April, on both DB and DC sections and how First Actuarial can help.

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    Housing briefing, March 2019 – SHPS: Take control of your accounts

    This bulletin tells you how TPT will help (including the provision of an online modeller that is expected to be launched on 13 May 2019) and what you can do yourself to take control of your SHPS accounting.

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    Housing briefing, February 2019 – 7 hot LGPS topics

    This month our focus is on the Local Government Pension Scheme (the “LGPS”). We take you through seven hot topics that are currently impacting the LGBS – from the reassessment of employer costs to the exit surplus.

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    Housing briefing, January 2019 – Pension calendar 2019

    An at-a-glance calendar of events, milestones and alerts to help you stay ahead of pension changes. 2019 promises to be another busy year in housing pensions, with the LGPS valuation results, ongoing work to protect LGPS employers from immediate cessation debts, Growth Plan liability management and auto-enrolment changes.

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  • 2018

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    Housing briefing, December 2018 – SHPS DC section: life cover changes

    SHPS have now announced details of how life cover will be  paid for in future. They’ve also confirmed that the current 3 x multiple of salary life cover will no longer be compulsory. Employers now need to consider how they will fund life cover for their staff. This briefing goes…

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    Housing briefing, November 2018 – SHPS affordability deadline looming

    Housing associations are facing punishing increases in their SHPS deficit contributions – over 500% in some cases – following the 2017 valuation. If your housing association is affected by this change and wishes to appeal, read our briefing for details of the appeal process and imminent deadlines.

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    Housing association briefing, October 2018 – SHPS results out and July extension agreed

    SHPS results are out, and a July 2019 extension has been agreed, delaying increases to future service costs until that date.

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    Housing association briefing, September 2018

    In this issue, we help housing association senior managers and the executive teams understand the implications of the new limits on pension tax relief for both individuals and employers.

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    Housing association briefing, August 2018

    In advance of the results of the SHPS valuation, the August 2018 briefing outlines the actions employers will need to take in the face of anticipated deficit payment and contribution increases.

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    Housing association briefing, July 2018

    Current proposals may mean that employers have to make a full disclosure of their SHPS liabilities in their accounts from 31 March 2019. We discuss what this means for your balance sheet, the likely costs and timescales, and how First Actuarial can help.

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    Housing association briefing, June 2018

    Do pension schemes balance risk fairly between employers and their employers? We take a look at plans for Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) and how it could offer a viable alternative for housing associations in future.

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    Housing association briefing, May 2018

    SHPS employers received an email this week from the newly-formed Employer Committee (EC), providing its first update on the 2017 valuation. This month’s briefing provides some further background on the 2017 valuation, and explains the role of the EC.

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    Housing association briefing, April 2018

    Our mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing make up our overall wellbeing. This briefing focuses on financial wellbeing, and specifically, how financial education can form part of pension consultation and improve the financial wellbeing of your employees.

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    Housing association briefing, March 2018

    Hot off the press from the SHPS employer forums taking place this month, this bulletin alerts housing associations to the alarming message that future service rates could increase by as much as 30% to 50% after the 2017 valuation.

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    Housing association briefing, February 2018

    Why are some housing associations leaving SHPS? In the wake of several high-profile departures, Sam Mullock, actuary, offers guidance for housing associations reviewing their pension strategy.

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    Housing association briefing, January 2018

    Make sure you’re fully compliant with the next stages of auto-enrolment. Our January issue gives you a detailed summary of actions employers need to take.

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