Page 1 - Cheam School Case Study
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                   Case Study
 First Actuarial supports Cheam School through a successful Teachers’ Pension Scheme change process
    Key outcomes
A successful change process – through a complex situation
Business as usual throughout – managing staff morale and minimising disruption
A clear way forward – Cheam School can face the future with confidence
With substantial increases in Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) contributions looming for independent schools, Cheam School looked to First Actuarial for specialist support.
The challenge
Significant increases in TPS contributions
 Cheam School, along with other UK independent schools, faced an imminent rise in its contributions to the TPS.
“The increase is a front of mind issue for most independent schools,” says Tom Tabrah, Director of Finance and Operations at Cheam School. “We knew it would have a sizeable impact on the school, even more so in the context of other risk factors facing the sector. So we identified it as
something the School needed to look at urgently.
“We recognised how valuable the Scheme is
for teaching staff,” he continues. “But when balanced against the ongoing viability of the School, the increase started to look unaffordable. We kept an open mind and set up a staff consultation process to listen to views, but we had to consider all the School’s stakeholders alongside the teachers.”
  The solution
Deciding on future pension provision
 Having assessed the problem, Tom made contact with First Actuarial. “The initial meeting with the First Actuarial consultant went well, and our Governors were confident that they were a firm we could work with,” says Tom.
Mindful of the urgency of the situation – with contribution increases due to take effect in a matter of months – First Actuarial put together a timeline and got to work.
Consulting with teaching staff from an early stage
To communicate the potential changes, First Actuarial worked with the senior leadership and Governors of the School to hold a Town Hall meeting for all affected staff. First Actuarial outlined the options,
including one that would create a new Defined Contribution pension scheme to replace TPS membership. First Actuarial also supported more detailed discussions with Governors and staff representatives.
  Identifying alternative scheme designs
First Actuarial went away and produced a scheme design report, which focused on a number of options. “This was critical, as
it gave us an independent view of the best options for Cheam and teachers, in the context of our financial position,” says Tom.
Identifying alternative scheme providers
First Actuarial then produced a provider selection report, putting forward a small number of providers, and modelling the benefits for three sample age groups.
The report also explored the option of including non-teaching staff, and outlined the tax implications. The report concluded by recommending one pensions provider.

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