60% of housing associations offer defined contribution pensions

Folders with the label Retirement Plan and Pension

Almost two-thirds (60%) of housing association respondents offer staff a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, according to research by EMA Business and Management Consultancy.

Its 2015 Total rewards survey, which is based on responses from 94 UK housing associations, found that the average contribution rates for DC schemes was 7% for employers and 5% for employees.

The research also found:

  • 18% of respondents provide a local government final salary pension scheme for staff.
  • Just over three quarters (78%) of respondents offer bonus or performance-related pay (PRP) for their employees, with eligibility for consideration ranging from 57% among directors to 25% among employees involved in sales activity.
  • 74% of respondents say that staff are not entitled to sick pay during their probationary period, and 11% are not entitled to sick pay during the first year of employment. Just over a third (36%) intend to review their contractual sick pay within the next two years.
  • Around half (49%) of respondents offer flexible working.
  • 12% offer car salary sacrifice schemes and a company car or car allowance, which are available to 81% of directors, 66% of senior managers and 62% of office employees.

Ian Robertson, executive director at EMA Business and Management Consultancy, said: “Having being tasked with improving output, it should come as no surprise that housing associations are having to look at more diverse commercial measures to incentivise performance and reduce expenditure.

“It is important however, that such policies are approached with care; using bonuses to improve performance, for example, must be implemented with a robust management framework, ensuring clear service standards and targets are visible to all.

“It is the combination of benefits, with the more commercial incentives discussed, which help to make a career within housing associations an attractive prospect.”