Royal British Legion to carry out review 'to remain relevant'

25 Jun 2018 News

Royal British Legion has revealed that it is carrying out a review of its governing document ensure that the charity remains “relevant” and to “keep us fit for purpose”. 

In its recently published annual accounts for the year to 30 September 2017 RBL said that the consultation process will begin this year. 

Terry Whittles, national chair, and Charles Byre, director general, wrote in the foreword to this year’s annual report that: “To keep us fit for purpose, we instigated a review of the Royal Charter that defines our operating remit.” 

They added that: “We must show that we are a contemporary, relevant organisaiton with a vital role for today.” 

Royal British Legion is one of a number of charities governed by a Royal Charter, which is a instrument of incorporation granted by the Queen that confers independent legal personality on an organisation. Each organisation’s charter is different, setting out its constitution and powers to govern their own affairs and changes must be made with the agreement of the Queen and Privy Council. 

Charities with Royal Charters do not have to file documents with Companies House, but must still submit documents to the Charity Commission. 

Income up 

RBL reported an increase of nearly £8m to £159.2m. 

The increase was mainly due to an increase in income from charitable activities of £9m to £35m. This is down to “grants received for the Aged Veterans’ Healthy Living Programme, the Commemorative Events Programme and the Veterans’ Gateway. These grants partly funded a significant expansion in our welfare provision during the year”, the report said. 

Most of its income is still generated by voluntary donations and the November 2016 Poppy Appeal generated £49.2m – a 3 per cent increase on the previous year. 

Its spending was £155.3m, up from £146.9m.

RBL employed 1,514 full-time equivalent staff. Twenty six members of staff earned over £60,000, with the highest earner receiving a remuneration package of up to £149,999.

Pension deficit reduced 

RBL has reduced its pension deficit from £19.1m to £6.2m after “changes in the longevity assumptions used by the actuary”. 

The report said this “highlights the sensitivity of the calculations to relatively small changes in the underlying assumptions”. 

The charity and pension fund trustees are working on a plan to eliminate the pension deficit. 


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