Protecting the Scheme’s financial health.

Every three years the Scheme undergoes a full actuarial valuation to measure the current assets of the Scheme against the amount needed to pay the pensions that members have built up. This helps the Trustee to make sure that the Scheme has enough funds now to pay benefits as they fall due. In between full valuations the actuary provides an updated summary report on the Scheme’s position.

Each year the Trustee produces a funding update for members so they can see the Scheme’s funding position, you can always read the latest funding information on this website.

Latest financial health check


The Trustee has a plan in place to make sure that it takes less risk in where it invests the Scheme’s funds. It aims to put more money into investments that provide a steady amount of returns, as well as help manage other risks linked to paying pensions for a long period of time, including life expectancy and inflation.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Trustee took important steps to provide additional protection for members’ benefits in the Scheme by making significant investments with three UK regulated insurance companies called a ‘buy-in’ or ‘bulk annuity’ policy.

The buy-ins are held by the Trustee as investments of the Scheme and members will see no change to how their pensions are provided. It’s a common type of investment and something lots of pension schemes do to reduce risk.

For these investments, the Trustee invests an amount (called a premium) with each insurer to cover a proportion of the Scheme’s pensions; in return the insurer guarantees that it will make monthly payments to the Scheme that match the payments for those pensions. The Trustee remains responsible for paying all pensions from the Scheme whenever they need to be paid.

The insurer takes on some of the risks linked to making sure there is enough money set aside for as long as the pension benefits covered by the policy are in payment.

These include:

  • Poor economic conditions, which might reduce the returns being made on the Scheme’s investments.
  • Higher than expected inflation, increasing the amount of pension being paid and the amount of money needed to do so.
  • Members living longer than expected, increasing the length of time that a pension is being paid and the amount of money needed to do so.

For more information, please read the Member Q&A.


As well making sure the Scheme is properly funded, the Trustee knows that members’ benefits are only as secure as the world they live in. This is why they are working with their advisers to ensure that the Scheme’s assets and investments are used to build a sustainable future. This includes a target of net zero for the Scheme by 2040, direct investment in projects with social value and engagement with investment managers on how they take account of environmental, social and governance factors when choosing investments. The Trustee has set up a separate committee to manage this - the ESG Committee.

Our commitment to sustainability