UK - The Royal National Institute for the Blind has tripled contributions to its £55m final salary pension scheme putting a serious strain on its finances.
The charity has been forced to increase contributions from 7.5% to 22.6% to reduce its £10m-plus deficit.
RNIB director of finance and resources Kevin Geeson attributed the increase in contributions to stock market falls and increased longevity.
And he warned that some further “difficult decisions” would have to be made to redress the deficit. Closing the scheme or reducing benefits are two options being considered.
Geeson said the RNIB valued its final salary scheme highly because it offered employees a valuable benefit which “balances out the reality that as a charity we cannot always offer high wages”.
He said a decision would be taken in the summer following an actuarial review.
Obligations to the pension scheme are taking their toll on the institute, which recently withdrew a £77,000 grant from the Glasgow and West Scotland Society for the Blind. The loss of the grant meant the local charity had to shed two jobs.
The fund currently has the majority of its assets in equities, followed by bonds, property and cash.
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