Welsh charity Hirwaun YMCA warns of pension liability

Charity accepts bail-out loan to avoid closure over £18,200 pensions deficit

The chair of a Welsh charity who was held personally liable for his charity's pensions deficit has warned that many other small organisations could face the same problem.

Colin Shaw, chair of Hirwaun YMCA in Mid Glamorgan, initially took the entity that runs the YMCA's pension plan to court to contest its claim from him of £18,200, but has now dropped the action after taking legal advice.

Shaw said his charity would have had to close down in order to meet the debt, had it not been promised a bail-out loan by Cardiff YMCA.

"For many years, we were totally unaware of this debt, which was incurred years ago for the pension of a single employee," Shaw said.

"I expect there is an awful lot of money owed by an awful lot of other voluntary sector organisations that are in exactly the same predicament. I'm still not happy with the situation because I feel we've been made liable for costs that weren't really our fault.

"Our own debt was relatively small. I know of other organisations that have debts of up to £1m."

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