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2018: The Pension Deficit


Three questions:

  1. WS management undertook to provide an update to members about the wrong advice received. Why has this not occurred?

  2. What progress has been made in obtaining compensation for the ‘legal error’?

  3. Is the decision of Guy de Froment (Chair of the Finance Subcommittee) to ‘stand down’ in any way connected with the pension deficit?


I have taken a look at the Chairman’s statement and we still seem to be short on the Q & A’s.
Quite how long does a transcription take to be completed.
The AGM was in June and we are now in October!?!

And @Richard started this thread but none of his questions appear to have been answered.
Am I missing something??


I believe the full transcript can be downloaded from the AGM page:


The Q&As have now been added to the minutes - huge apologies for this taking so long. As mentioned on another thread, we had an issue with a staff member being absent. Thanks again for your patience.


Except that the questions I posted - which we were specifically encouraged to submit - have not been either put or answered. Can you explain why? And can you obtain the answers?


I would be more than interested to see Richard’s 3 questions that head this thread, answered!


Hi Richard. Looking at the transcript, I see that the first 2 questions were addressed in Sarah’s speech itself (relevant extract pasted below):

"After we sent out the Annual review there was a thread - and I have to say quite a lot of disquiet - about the deficit on the pension scheme and speculation of what might or might not have gone wrong. Pensions are extremely complex and the complexity of ours has been made worse by events in 2010 as we reported last year. Last year’s accounts gave full explanations and I won’t repeat them here because it would take up a big chunk of this meeting. I would be happy to talk with anyone afterwards if you have specific questions and concerns - come and see me at the end. Happily our Community users were satisfied with the answer we provided and it seemed to allay their concerns.

I will confirm, however, that we closed the defined benefit pension scheme to new accruals on 30 April last year and the accounts record the benefit. I’m sorry that I’m not able to tell you any more at this stage about progress that we have made in relation to the wrong legal advice that we believe that we received relating to the scheme in 2010."

I’m sorry to see the third hasn’t been directly addressed for some reason, but can confirm that the answer is no.


Martin, thanks but contrary to what you say none of my questions were directly addressed.

Given that one of the reported questions at the AGM was from a member who had ‘given prior notice’ it seems clear that no community questions were submitted to WS management.


Hi Richard - afraid I’m now away from my desk, as are those I’d need to speak to for an answer on this one, but I’ll come back to you tomorrow. Thanks


As promised, I’ve spoken to colleagues and can confirm that all questions were indeed submitted to management prior to the meeting. Whilst I’m sorry you evidently feel they were addressed with insufficient ‘directness’, the speech did go into the maximum level of detail we are currently able to regarding what is a very complex matter. Under the circumstances, we would therefore suggest that you pursue any other questions you might have directly by writing to the Chairman, Sarah Evans, via Member Services if you so wish.

closed #11