They always say that sequels are never as good – well here’s a publication that well and truly proves that adage wrong. This fourth edition has taken over nine months to compile and provides over 50 pages of invaluable information, compiled by industry experts, which will hopefully allow finance directors, HR managers and CEO’s to find information on the issues which affect their charity and therefore help them get the most from their pension provision.
I am delighted to have been able to contribute to, and indeed sponsor, the publication of “Navigating the Charity Pensions Maze” produced by Charity Finance Group (CFG) having provided input in the area of Section 75 debts in non-associated multi-employer defined benefit schemes, and providing our experience on how the problems can be addressed. We believe that this document will provide charities with an invaluable reference guide to the complex pension issues they face.
Split into three sections, it guides charities through:
- Defined benefits (DB) schemes: historic DB liabilities remain a significant challenge to the sector. The Pensions Maze provides insight in to how charities can actively navigate the risks and costs associated with the schemes, how they can navigate the complex relationship between scheme trustees and a charity as an employer, and how to navigate the challenges posed by Section 75.
- The world of defined contributions (DC) schemes: as DC schemes increasingly become the norm with the introduction of auto-enrolment the Pensions Maze guides charities through the key issues that they will need to consider, including the role of Master Trusts, the changes introduced by the Government’s Freedom and Choice legislation, and auto-enrolment.
- Planning and Reporting: the final section of Pensions Maze provides details of how charities should include pensions in their accounts, as well as guidance on complex regulations such as TUPE and moral hazard.
New to this edition are:
- A section on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Charities will be taken through entering the LGPS as a third party employer, managing and monitoring the scheme, and how to mitigate the challenges around exiting the scheme.
- An update from The Pensions Regulator for small charities yet to auto-enrol, providing guidance on how to comply and what they can expect from the regulator.
The recent Green Paper presented a great opportunity to address some of the problems with Section 75, but worryingly not only did it not provide any answers, it’s now not even asking the right questions. The conclusion it reached was more consultation!! Surely no one can fail to understand the problems after all this time, but getting Government to propose workable solutions has been all but impossible. To read more on our suggestions on Section 75 reform click here.
I really hope that third sector organisations derive a great deal of value from this publication and it makes a real difference to pension provision across the sector.