The Pensions Trust has at last drawn a line under the Scottish Voluntary Services Pension Scheme with plans to close it to all future benefit accrual from April 2010. The knock-on effect of this decision is to highlight how wholly unsuitable it was for the many small charities and not-for-profit organisations who were encouraged to take part.
It also leaves many questions unanswered. Why was there such enthusiastic encouragement to participate in a pension scheme of this type? Why were these small organisations not given very clear guidance about the potential risks that they were exposed to as a result? Had they been, would so many have blindly taken part?
And the biggest question remains: what is going to happen to other similar schemes with participants all equally ill-equipped to deal with final salary liabilities?
David Davison is a Director at Spence & Partners, independent actuaries and consultants in Scotland and Northern Ireland.