Age Concern Birmingham

acblogoA couple of readers have written to us with concerns about the finances at the charity Age Concern Birmingham.

The last accounts were published in December 2012

INCOME: £2,141,594

STAFF COSTS

  • Wages & Salaries       £1,264,312
  • Social Security Costs £94,420
  • Pension Costs            £58,346

Total                         £1,417,078

CHIEF EXECUTIVE COSTS

The Chief Executive received a salary between £100,001 – £110,000.

Plus a pension cost for that employee £19,977

Around 1/20th of the charity’s income goes to one employee!!! Is that good value? Is that fair?

LOAN TO CHIEF EXECUTIVE

A loan of £84,000 was made to the Chief Executive, repayable over 7 years – it does not say at what interest rate.

Why did the charity make the loan and at what interest rate?

TRUSTEES – HIGH TURNOVER & LOW NUMBER

Age Concern Birmingham seems to have a high turnover and an exceptionally low number of trustees. On 23rd October 2013 there are only 4 registered trustees according to the Charity Commission records.

See the accounts here.

Is this charity a cause for concern?

See our earlier posts on excessive charity pay.

Who do you trust?      Question everything!!!

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21 Responses to Age Concern Birmingham

  1. This report came as no surprise. If ‘Age Concern’ is a charity, I am living on the wrong planet.
    A dear friend’s wife died some time back; clearly the hospital/Macmillan contacted Age Concern who appeared uninvited on his doorstep.
    Had they come to see if he needed any help? No.
    They wanted to sell him a funeral policy and various devices to put sound his house to ‘help him out’
    The some years ago they went into a school I knew in Ormskirk wanting to collect for ‘local’ charities.
    In fact they were collecting for a charity in Salford, a fact which they forgot to mention!
    Bottom line: it’s a business.

  2. Benjamin Jones says:

    Don’t usually have a problem with charity’s CEO’s earning a market comparable salary in order to attract and retain talent but this is outrageous! It means the head of a local charity that earns about two million is paid a similar amount to the heads of large national charities! Only slightly less than the head of Oxfam with 5,000 staff!

  3. diane says:

    What a disgrace! Brummies should be outraged at fat cats in the public sector or in charities.

  4. Age Concern Birmingham has requested an email address via the contact page of this site in order to reply to the questions raised and to demonstrate its total transparency. After 2 weeks we have not had a reply. Please send us an email address and we will be very happy to respond to the issues raised here.

  5. Freya Duffy says:

    What’s even more outrageous is that in 2012-13 the Chief Exec’s pension costs increased to £29,581. This means that one individual on a ridiculously high salary accounted for 42% of the pension costs in an organisation employing 76 people. This is pure greed.

  6. Pauline says:

    Are Charities allowed to lend large amounts of money to employees.?

  7. We are issuing this statement as a result of interest shown in the salary of the CEO of Age Concern Birmingham, Shirley Goode, and a personal loan taken out by the CEO through the charity.

    CEO Salary
    Salary levels paid to charity sector CEOs are determined independently, according to charity policy and in line with market forces. Shirley Goode has been the Chief Executive Officer of Age Concern Birmingham for 16 years (since 1998) and is remunerated for her expertise, experience, length of time with the charity, commercial ability and the complexity of her role. Her role includes the management of 3 organisations: Age Concern Birmingham, Jubilee Citizens and Advantage, the trading arm of Age Concern Birmingham.

    The salary is set by the charity’s Board of Trustees and has been increased incrementally each year in line with inflation – except for the past 3 years where salaries have not increased. It is expected that senior salaries will not increase again this year, allowing for pay rises to be awarded to lower paid members of the team.

    The CEO’s salary is openly and transparently declared every year in the charity’s annual accounts, information readily available to the general public.

    CEO Personal Loan
    Shirley Goode took out a personal loan of £84,000 in 2010 from Age Concern Birmingham, agreed with the Board of Trustees. This is also publicly declared through the charity’s annual accounts and is shown to be decreasing in line with the loan agreement, year on year, with an additional lump sum being paid ahead of time in 2013. The loan will be concluded in March 2017.

    Shirley Goode chose to borrow from Age Concern Birmingham as the rate of interest would benefit the charity and she personally preferred to repay interest to the charity than to a bank.

    Here is an excerpt from the letter from the Trustees to the Charities Commission regarding the loan:

    “Shirley is a long standing and trusted employee who has been with the Charity in her current position since 1998. Shirley requested a loan due to some unexpected issues she was experiencing in relation to property. The loan was for a bona fide reason and granted using discretionary powers under our existing policy and on the basis that an interest rate set at the HMRC guidance rate, would apply. This has consistently been adhered to and last year, Shirley also made a further lump sum repayment in October. As at January 2014, the overall amount outstanding was reduced to £29,897.51. Given the fact of the interest rate, the Charity has gained on this loan in terms of the repayments, there has been no detrimental effect on the Charity. There is also protection in that should Shirley choose to leave the Charity, the full outstanding amount is repayable. Should she unexpectedly die in service, the money would be recovered from the death in service benefit that is applicable.”
    (David Leigh, Chairman, Age Concern Birmingham)

    The Charities Commission has investigated this matter and is satisfied there is no case to answer and have ceased further enquiry. They were prompted to look into the matter originally as a result of press interest.

    Age Concern Birmingham has a policy of lending to its staff from its reserves where it is deemed appropriate and has made several small loans to staff members. These are small amounts, repaid quickly and therefore do not appear in the annual accounts.

  8. Freya Duffy says:

    It really is disheartening to see the old hoary chestnut of market forces being wheeled out as an excuse for unjustifiable salaries. You do have to wonder which charities they are benchmarking against. As someone has already commented this salary is equivalent to the Chief Executive of Oxfam. Some quick research on the Charity Commission demonstrates that similar / local charities show considerable more restraint with regard to executive pay.

    Birmingham Settlement (income £1.8m, 51 staff) – no staff paid over £60k
    Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton (income £2.7m, 69 staff) – no staff paid over £60k
    Acorn’s Children’s Hospice Trust (income £13.8m, 322 staff) –Chief Executive paid between £90k-100k
    Birmingham & Solihull Women’s aid (income £3.5m, 82 staff) – Chief Executive paid between £60k-70k
    Birmingham Museums Trust (income £9.4m, 264 staff) – Chief Executive paid between £60k-£70k

    It is noticeable that all of these charities have considerably more trustees that Age Concern Birmingham.

    With regard to their supposed openness and transparency I wonder if people would be so willing to donate money to Age Concern Birmingham if they knew that for every £1 they give, 6p will go directly into the Chief Executive’s pocket. Maybe the charity should ask them.

  9. Josie says:

    What was/is the interest rate for this loan?

  10. Mary Smith says:

    According to Age Concern Birmingham the charity benefitted from the ‘high’ interest rate charged to the CEO on the loan. Hardly high, 4% is an extremely favourable loan rate, a commercial rate being around 12%. They go on to state it was higher than their deposit account of 1.1%. Why does this charity have £84k on deposit at such a low rate and not more appropriately invested? The salary is outrageous and gives charities a bad name. My concern is that other similarly named age related charities will suffer from this charity’s poor governance and ethical code.

    • Pauline says:

      Very good point made about appropriate investment rates.Also agree,other similarly named age related charities will suffer.What were the Trustees thinking about when this was agreed.How many signed up for this and are they competent in understanding the short and long term effects of their decision making

  11. Pauline says:

    .The paper trail for the loan must be made clearer on the accounts.Stating decrease of £12,000 each year is not good enough.The accounts should also state the interest rate and interest paid by the borrower followed by the balance figure.This way it can tracked openly..The Charity Commission must ask for more information enabling accounts to be more transparent.I am not in agreement of large staff/Trustee loans,as ethical and conflicts of interest issues abound’

  12. Megan says:

    For people who may be not be sure-Age Concern is a separate charity from Age UK

  13. David J says:

    This Charity is making people redundant due to lack of money while employing the three children of the chief executive plus there very high salary, pension and loan.

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