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Pay and Benefits Improving Across Housing Association Sector

1st October 2014

Capita’s annual Housing Employee Benefits Survey has found that pay and benefits are steadily improving across the housing association sector.

Whilst large automatic pay increases may well be a thing of the past, there is a continuing move to link pay to performance, including the development of performance related bonus schemes that will reward employees in line with the success of the individual, team or organisation.

There is also a clear trend of housing organisations incentivising pension arrangements which are affordable and manage risk effectively. Although a quarter of organisations still allow entry to generous final salary pension schemes, this is a feature very much in decline. In their place, employers are creating more flexible defined contribution schemes with some organisations offering low employee contribution options to attract new entrants and some paying up to 10% as an employer contribution and to encourage existing final pay scheme members to switch into an attractive product.

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The Capita survey is the largest and most comprehensive benefits survey of housing organisations - over 60 housing organisations from across the UK participated this year. The survey provides an essential picture of current trends in employee benefits and an insight into emerging patterns that might shape future delivery.  Together, survey participants manage over 460,000 homes across the country and employ 19,000 people.

Change and transformation are also set to play an increasing part in the housing landscape. This is clearly reflected in the growing annual number of organisations identifying restructuring and redundancies as part of their workforce planning.

Other key points from the 2014 survey include:

  • Over 60 housing associations from across the UK have participated.
  • Pay freezes down to 4% of participants in 2014, from 65% in 2011 and 10% in 2013.
  • Nearly two thirds of directors have a bonus scheme, double the number in 2011.
  • Since 2012 there has been a significant shift away from final salary pensions.
  • Over half are planning redundancies or are considering it may be necessary in the coming year.
  • Pay awards average 2% with the highest being over 3% in 2014. 

For further information contact Susan Manning.


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