Joe Irvin, NAVCA’s Chief Executive, told CFG’s Northern Conference that the Government needs to allow greater flexibility over pensions to prevent mergers being thwarted and charities existence being threatened. Joe delivered the closing plenary speech at the Northern 2013 held by CFG at the Renaissance Hotel, Manchester (13 June). The conference is an annual event for charity finance professionals with speakers from businesses and charities.
Joe was asked to talk about the merger process that NAVCA and Community Matters had explored. Despite strong support from members, these merger talks ended due to potential pension liabilities. The issue is pension deficits in multi-employer schemes. Charities that withdraws are usually made to pay the whole deficit at once. Significant structural changes to an organisation, such as a merger, is often treated as a withdrawal. This crystallises the debt.
Joe Irvin said
“I’m pleased DWP minister Steve Webb MP seems to be taking this seriously and talking with us. But we need action. This is affecting charities both large and small.”
“There is one specific action I would like to see the Government take. In 2013 Budget the Chancellor said government will provide the Pensions Regulator with a new objective to support scheme funding arrangements that are compatible with sustainable growth for the sponsoring employer and fully consistent with the 2004 funding legislation. We need to be sure this works for not for profit organisations not just private companies.”
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