The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
This means that employer contribution rates for those employers participating in the NHS Pension Scheme, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the Civil Service Pension Scheme are likely to rise from 2015.
The Government believes that the shortfall across these three schemes is likely to amount to nearly £1 billion per year. The final valuations are due to be published over the coming months. The new contribution rate will be then be decided.
The Government has also outlined details of a new cost-capping mechanism which will operate in all public sector pension schemes from 2015 (or 2016 for the Local Government Pension Scheme). The cost cap is only partial, relating to future service costs. It also only applies to costs which relate to members such as changes in life expectancy, salary growths or career paths but not due to financial performance or technical valuation changes. Where costs rise or fall by more than 2% then member benefits or contributions may be adjusted in order to return costs to the level of the cap.
The Local Government Pension Scheme is also implementing an additional cost control mechanism in order to try to ensure that employer contribution rates are as constant as possible. This mechanism is likely to operate in a similar way to the mechanism outlined earlier with a proposed cap of 19.5% of pensionable payroll.
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Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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