Fortunately my expectations for the Green Paper published last week weren’t high which was good as at least I didn’t have to deal with crushing disappointment. I did have some hopes that after a myriad of working parties and consultation on Section 75 and multi-employer schemes over the last few years, that expectant charities at last may see some revelation on an issue that has been dogging the sector for well over a decade. There was indeed a revelation, of sorts! It was just that they needed more consultation!! How could anyone not understand the issues here? The problem isn’t about lack of understanding of the issues, but about lack of will to do something about them.
The commentary on multi-employer DB schemes is contained in paragraphs 400-407 in the ‘Consolidation of Schemes’ section, which is somewhat ironic given that most of the necessary change for multi-employer schemes results in anything but consolidation!!
In point 405 there is one tantalising comment, namely “We intend to consult on a new option employers can consider to manage the employer debt in these circumstances.” Ah, what could this be, and why was it not actually in the Green Paper?
My greater concern is that at the end of the Consolidation section there are three key questions posed in relation to multi-employer schemes:- Read more »
Spence & Partners, the UK pension actuaries and administration specialists, today shared their concerns that more charities will become trapped in multi-employer pension schemes with damaging liabilities unless government amends Section 75 legislation.
In March of this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were seeking views on the operation of the employer debt regime for non-associated multi-employer defined benefit schemes in a call for evidence which closed in May. As of yet no proposals have been made and the DWP website warns that it was published under the Coalition government and therefore might not be a priority for the current regime. Read more »
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.
How many times have I dug out my drive-way this week? Each time I broke my back to dig down to the paving more snow appeared and the colourful language commenced.
Feel free to draw any analogies with funding a DB pension schemes still open to future accrual.
It couldn’t be worse, or could it? Well only if you’d:
- no option on shovel size
- no option to use grit or salt
- your neighbour kept pilling all his snow on your drive
Ah, that will be a multi-employer scheme.