As part of the Scottish Independence debate the issues of regional life expectancy and the pensioner dependency ratio have become something of a political football. It is certainly difficult to remember points which have previously been regarded as niche topics which academics and politicians have become quite so exercised about.
Having carried out some research, the first interesting fact is that Scottish mortality rates were not always higher than their counterparts in the rest of the UK (rUK). Up until the 1950’s, Scottish life expectancy was broadly on a par with the rest of the UK. However, from that point, rates in Scotland improved more slowly. Whilst there is no definitive explanation, the cause has generally been attributed to increased levels of deprivation until the 1980’s. Read more »
All organisations participating in multi-employer defined benefit pension schemes need to carefully consider how the introduction of the new Financial Reporting Standard 102 will impact upon their organisation and carefully assess what options are open to them. The new accounting requirements will see many organisations who do not currently record their defined benefit pension liabilities having to do so for the first time. This could have a very material impact on balance sheets.
Organisations who already account for their scheme as a defined benefit scheme need to consider if the new legislation provides them with alternatives to their existing disclosures.
Alan Collins, Director and Head of the Employer Advisory practice at Spence, has compiled a Guide which analyses who the changes will affect, what the changes will mean and what steps to take in preparation for them. The Accounting disclosures under multi-employer pension schemes Guide is available to download here.
Recognising the difficult issues posed by pensions for many charities the National Association Of Pension Funds is holding a free seminar for charities in London on Thursday 6th February 2014. The event has gathered a series of specialist speakers with expertise on pensions and the charity sector to provide attendees with in depth knowledge on the issues faced and the potential options available.
The event is designed to be highly interactive with participants being given the opportunity to ask questions and feedback views to regulators, representative bodies and specialist advisers. This is undoubtedly an event not to be missed.
More information on the event is available here: NAPF Charities Forum
When working with charities on their pension provision I’m constantly reminded of the old joke about the man stopping and asking for directions in Ireland and being told “Well sur, if you’re trying to get there I wouldn’t be wanting to start from here!” This feeling of being a bit lost and not quite sure where to turn is an all too consistent theme.
So in terms of developing a suitable strategy for the future what should charity trustees be looking at? Read more »
I’d been asked to draft some thoughts on the current, and likely future, state of public sector pensions for The Scotsman which I did in an article on the 4th April- Time Turned on Pension Attitude. Not surprisingly (well it was of little surprise to me at least) that the article received a prompt rebuttal from a leading trade unionist, Dave Watson of Unison, denying that any problem exists with public sector pensions – Contrary to Popular Belief Pension Costs are Falling.
This is undoubtedly the problem with raising the spectre of public sector pensions as it completely polarises opinion between those affected and those who are not and raises strong emotions on both sides. I could feel the irked indignation from Mr Watson in every keystroke. Read more »
I’ve been presenting to charities on pension issues at the Gathering Event at the SECC on 27th and 28th February 2013. The session is part of a current issues presentation by Adrienne Airlie of Martin Aitken & Co. A copy of my presentation is available to download here: David Davison – Presentation and the Martin Aitken presentation available here: Martin Aitken – Presentation
The winding up of People Can, which provided homelessness support services on behalf of several English local authorities, has shocked the voluntary sector and led it’s former Chief Executive, Maff Potts, to issue an impassioned plea for change . There is a concern that the People Can scenario could be replicated across the sector with hundreds of organisations being driven in to administration by their pension liabilities.
This is an issue I’ve raised consistently over the last number of years and have made some comments on the potential impact in an article by Patrick Butler in the Guardian.
A major new research paper produced by Michael Johnson for the Centre for Policy Studies has highlighted that, despite reassurances from the Government to the contrary, the current round of public sector pension reform (even though still not completed) may not see time called on the issue for very long.
As has been suspected by many, myself included, the major concessions won by the trade unions from the government will mean that the changes will do little to improve the public finances, will merely further divide our public and private sector and will commit us to a cashflow deficit of over £15bn by 2016/17. That’s a 77-fold increase in only 11 years and will mean that the annual burden on tax payers will rise to £32bn – the equivalent of £1,230 for every household in the country. It also means that £4 out of every £5 paid in pensions to former public sector workers is paid by the tax payer. Read more »
Finance Directors of charities not disclosing their multi-employer pension liabilities on their balance sheet may be sleeping just a little uncomfortably at the moment following a consultation document issued by the Financial Reporting Council.
If the proposals are accepted charities will need to recognise any agreement to fund a deficit in a multi-employer scheme on their balance sheet. Read more »
Organisations participating in the Social Housing Pension Scheme (“SHPS”) will no doubt be experiencing that sinking feeling, perhaps mixed in with a little déjà vu, as the results of the 2011 scheme valuation hit their desks this month.
The communication will have brought the unwelcome news that the ‘on-going’ funding deficit has increased from £663m to £1,035m as at 30 September 2011 (having increased from £283m in 2005). Read more »