UK - The Pensions Trust's efforts to set up centralised schemes for UK charities has been hit by high-profile defections from its Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS).
Shaftesbury Housing Group – one of five associations which has withdrawn SHPS for new members – said take-up of the industry-wide scheme among its 1500 staff was “very low” and associated costs to members too high.
A spokesman said: “The main consideration was providing staff with adequate pension coverage and a pension scheme that was more affordable to them.
“Stakeholder seems to be the way the market is moving in the housing sector. This is advice we took from an independent advisor that we worked with for 12 months. And we are hoping the take-up of our stakeholder scheme will be much greater than the SHPS.”
But The Pensions Trust insists the scheme, which is used by around 700 associations and more than 25,000 employees, is not suffering from dwindling membership.
The SHPS was established 20 years ago. Chief executive Richard Stroud expects a further 12% growth in membership this year.
Stroud blamed advisers who were using FRS17 liabilities as a reason for housing associations to leave the scheme.
Watson Wyatt is carrying out a triennial review of SHPS. This is expected to show a significant fall in funding levels due to recent stock market losses.
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