Pensions Board's response to COVID-19

Our priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our people, members, customers and all those we work with. We are closely monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus and are continuing to follow Government and Church of England guidance.

In line with this guidance, we have taken steps to ensure we can continue to operate our services as normally as possible, whilst protecting individuals.  

Steps taken to date to maintain continuity of service

  • Our team normally based at Church House largely continues to work from home.  We have for some time conducted an annual exercise where all staff based at Church House are asked to work remotely to test our business continuity plans, so we have a well-rehearsed plan. We are also constantly monitoring and adapting our plan as needed based on experience in recent months.
  • We have ensured our teams can access our systems and key files from home, within a secure environment.
  • We are automatically redirecting calls so that queries can still be dealt with even when working remotely. But please do contact us via email wherever possible. Our contact details are below.
  • Incoming and outgoing mail continues to be managed through our Pershore mail handling centre.  This address (shown below) should be used for all paper correspondence.
  • We have stopped non-essential travel for staff around the country and abroad.
  • We are encouraging any member of staff who feels unwell to self-isolate as a precaution and seek medical advice as necessary.
  • We have asked colleagues not to physically attend any meetings, conferences or seminars, but to instead seek to join meetings remotely. We have switched any internal meetings to conference calls and will continue to offer ‘virtual’ options for planned workshops if appropriate.
  • We are in contact with our suppliers and professional advisers to understand the latest on their contingency plans.
  • Together with our Advisers, we are continuing to monitor and evaluate the situation in the global economy carefully.  The Pensions Board is a long-term investor with a well-diversified investment portfolio.  Planned work on scheme valuations is continuing.

Our teams are continuing to prioritise delivery of critical activities but are working hard to deal with all queries promptly.

We are also continuing to review our plans to deliver essential services for our customers as lockdown is eased, and in line with emerging Government guidance.

For housing services particularly, this will mean taking slow and careful steps back out of lockdown. For instance:

  • Our maintenance contractor Sanctuary has only been undertaking emergency repairs work since mid-March. From the 1st July, in addition to continuing to offer a 24-hour helpline for urgent repair issues, Sanctuary will start to offer a full repairs service again, prioritising the non-urgent repairs reported in the last 3 months.
  • We will continue to minimise contractor visits across all our properties for those residents who are shielding.
  • Within our seven Supported Housing schemes, we are continuing to maintain our strict hygiene and social distancing protocols to protect those who live and work there. To protect staff, we have undertaken a new workplace risk assessment, which reflects the latest guidance from the Government and Public Health England. This demonstrates that the schemes are ‘Covid-19 safe workplaces’. The risk assessment is available here.
  • We are continuing to minimise visits to Supported Housing schemes as far as possible, recognising that we have to strike a careful balance around ‘opening up’ but also maintaining steps to protect our residents.  From July, some visiting services (e.g. flat cleaning and hairdressing) can resume, along with carefully arranged services at the scheme Chapels, following CofE guidance. 
  • For up to date information on any changes we are making please contact the relevant scheme manager.

We are continuing to work hard to minimise any potential delays to imminent retirement housing moves caused by the current crisis.  If you are planning to retire in the next 18 months and may need housing assistance, please contact us. 

  • Where clergy are delaying retirement during the current crisis this will not adversely affect reserved retirement housing.
  • Though we are not currently sending out the normal property bulletin, we are in the process of starting to match properties to customers.  Please contact us for more information.
  • At this time, it may not always be possible to view all available properties in person, but where we can, we are putting in place controls so viewings can take place as safely as possible.
  • Also in line with government advice, some house moves are beginning to take place.

What you should do

If you need to contact us, we strongly recommend you email us as our phone lines might be busy.

For Pensions:

Email us at [email protected]

Phone us on 020 7898 1802 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

For Housing:

Email us [email protected]

Phone us on 0207 898 1824 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

For all paper correspondence:

The Church of England Pensions Board
PO Box 2026
Pershore
WR10 9BW

If you email or call us, for data security we might need to reply by post.

Useful information during Covid-19

If you are worried about your pension, the Pension Protection Fund has some useful information and steps you can take

If you are concerned about your wider finances, MaPS have some helpful guidance on steps you can take