Pensions reform – how many charities will be affected?

Pensions have been in the news recently, with articles in Civil Society and Third Sector based on an Acevo survey that indicated that many charities weren’t ready for the reforms to workplace pensions which come into effect late 2012.

To give a bit of context to this debate, it might be useful to look at the numbers of charities affected by the reforms. The reforms are phased by number of employees (PDF, 32KB) meaning that the largest employers have to implement the reforms first.

By looking at charities’ annual returns to the Charity Commission, we can see how many charities will be in each phase, and when the first charities will have to implement.

The results show that although the reforms start for the very largest in late 2012, they won’t come in for the largest charities until 2013, and for the vast majority in 2014. I don’t mean this to encourage complacency – it’s very important that charities prepare for these changes – but for most the change is still three years away.

Number of staff Staging Date Number of charities
120,000 or more 01/10/2012 0
50,000-119,999 01/11/2012 0
30,000-49,999 01/01/2013 0
20,000-29,999 01/02/2013 0
10,000-19,999 01/03/2013 0
6,000-9,999 01/04/2013 5
4,100-5,999 01/05/2013 8
4,000-4,099 01/06/2013 2
3,000-3,999 01/07/2013 7
2,000-2,999 01/08/2013 15
1,250-1,999 01/09/2013 38
800-1,249 01/10/2013 30
500-799 01/11/2013 93
350-499 01/01/2014 114
250-349 01/02/2014 188
240-249 01/04/2014 21
150-239 01/05/2014 415
90-149 01/06/2014 695
50-89 01/07/2014 1068
Less than 50 beginning at 01/03/2014 8190* (plus c25,000)

* A note on the data. The data relates to all registered charities in England and Wales, and is based on those that have received over £500,000 in their latest year. As it is difficult to employ more than 50 staff with income of less than £500,000 it should cover the majority of charity employers with more than 50 employees. However, the figure for charities with fewer than 50 employees doesn’t include those that do not complete part B of the Annual Return. In total, there are probably around 33,000 charities in this category. It is also likely that the composition of bands will change between now and the staging dates.

(thanks to Richard Williams & Chris Taylor for asking the initial question!)

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David Kane David Kane was formerly NCVO’s Senior Research Officer. He discusses open data and emerging trends in the voluntary and community sector and wider civil society.

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