The latest three yearly valuation of the Social Housing Pension Scheme will be getting under way shortly with a valuation date of 30 September 2023. Commentators anticipate that the picture could look quite different from previous valuations with the rise in interest rates resulting in substantial falls in scheme liabilities.
The last three valuations have seen a rise in both future service and deficit contributions, as the deficit continued to rise. However, the deficit is estimated to have shrunk to a size not seen since 2011.
What might this mean in practice for housing providers:
- Existing deficit contributions may be sufficient to fund the existing deficit, so no increase in deficit contributions
- The increase in the discount rate may well also mean that future service contributions are lower
- Cessation debts are also likely to have shrunk
For employers looking to stay in SHPS, there could be welcome news around reduced contributions for them or their employees - depending on how contributions are shared between the employer and employee. For employers looking to exit, their cessation debt may well now be more affordable, although the reduction in contribution rates may mean that the rationale for exiting is less obvious than previously (at least as far as employees are concerned).
Housing providers in SHPS will therefore want to be carefully considering their options as results emerge and the picture becomes clearer.
For many organisations, the improved funding position may make options available which weren't there previously.