Branch Secretary :

Unite produces briefing on SHPS

Threat to housing workers pensions


Last Friday we reported on the anouncement that the biggest pension scheme in the sector, the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) has an increased deficit.  Around ten thousand housing workers could face attacks to their pension schemes following the announcement this week of further increases in the deficit of the biggest pension scheme in the sector.


Unite National Officer Siobhan Endean was quoted in Inside Housing “Unite will resist any changes that individual social housing organisations attempt to make to their pension schemes if it will result in a detriment to our members.


Deferred pay


“Pensions are deferred pay and members will not stand idly by if their employer is intent on cutting their retirement income.” Unite reps will be seeking assurances from management and the issue will be discussed at the Unite housing workers pay conference on Friday 26th October.


The potential extra costs which employers could face must be seen on the context of rising surplueses and margins combined with starkly reduced staff cuts; a 6.6% cut in just one year according to the recent Vantage Business Solutions report. 


Employment costs down; surpluses and margins up


The sector regularly reports record surpluses and surpluses, stonkingly high margins that average well over 30%.  The 'sector scorecard' shows that three quarters of associations runnning margins of over 22.5%   house builders Bellway boasted of achieving a ‘record’ margin of 22.3% last year.  To get an idea of how big these figures are consider that private housebuilding giant Bovis Homes made an operating margin below 20% in each of the past five years.  Speculative builders Bellway boasted that their operating margin had risen to a record high of 22.3%


Unite has now produced a briefing on SHPS which is available by clicking here


Last Fridays report can be seen here


Pensions will be discussed at the housing sector pay conference - details below.


Paul Kershaw 25 October 2018





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