Page 2 - Cheam School Case Study
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                Ongoing stakeholder communications
Given the potential difficulties in moving teaching staff away from the attractive benefits of the TPS, good communication was critical.
The staff representatives disseminated information and fed back questions and
comments. First Actuarial supported Tom and the Governors in responding promptly, preventing any build-up of issues and keeping teachers engaged.
Presentations and drop-in sessions with teaching staff
Based on queries and questions raised, First Actuarial ran a series of presentations and drop-in workshops for all affected staff.
Consultants took teachers through
the proposal and gave them further opportunities to ask questions or discuss their circumstances on a one-to-one basis.
“The attendees appreciated how personable the First Actuarial consultants were,” says Tom. “They understood their audience and ran the teacher workshops in a professional but friendly manner.
Through this collaborative and consultative approach, the Governors of Cheam were able to make a final decision on leaving the TPS, and selected the provider and design of a new pension scheme for teaching staff. All staff affected by the proposal accepted the changes to their contractual terms and conditions. This leading independent school is now in a position to plan financially on a business as usual basis.
The A complex process carried out outcome in the right way
A successful process in difficult circumstances
We had a very good experience working with First Actuarial. For me, it’s a given that consultants should have deep technical knowledge and experience, coupled with the latest view of the pensions environment – which First Actuarial had. However, it was the responsiveness of First Actuarial that impressed me most. I felt that they were always on the end of the phone, available tohelpand respond to issues as they arose.
Tom Tabrah, Director of Finance and Operations, Cheam School
 Cheam School feels that it tackled the increase in TPS contributions in the right way. “The main outcome for me is a successful process in what could have
been a difficult situation,” says Tom. “It was well organised, and we had the right information and support from First Actuarial.”
Business as usual at Cheam School
Given the nature of the TPS and its benefits, the proposal to move away was always going to concern staff; the School was well aware of the risk of negative morale. However,
the School has been pleased with how the process has brought affected staff along in the decision-making process and minimised disruption and morale issues.
“First Actuarial gave everybody confidence
– both Governors and teachers – and helped support the level of openness and transparency that we were aiming to achieve. The impact on teaching staff morale was properly managed and hopefully staff appreciated the approach of the School through this difficult decision.”
A clear way forward for Cheam School
Cheam School is now looking to complete the next phase of the project – transitioning staff to the new pension Scheme. This may include salary sacrifice, offering both the School and Scheme members reduced National Insurance contributions.
“I’m very happy with what we’ve done so far, and look forward to working with First Actuarial again,” says Tom. “In the next phase, we’ll bring them back to run another set of workshops, to give staff a deeper understanding of the new Scheme and provide greater comfort on the transfer.”
 (03/2020)
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