Warwick Students' Union Consolidated Financial Statements

Registered in England and Wales 07297865 UK Charity Number 1136894
For the Year Ended 31 July 2017

Commentary for website to explain the 2016-17 position

Following changes to national financial reporting standards, particularly those relating to FRS102, the Union is now required to disclose within its balance sheet the net asset or liability position arising from the Student Unions’ Superannuation Scheme (SUSS) – a pension scheme which was closed to new employees in 2011, but for which the Union still has current and former members of staff as members.

The first accounts where the Union reported its share of the SUSS pension liability, were those published in respect of the period reported to 31 July 2016, and this resulted in the Union reporting a negative reserves position despite the fact that nothing practically had changed from one year to the next. The pensions reserve now included in the balance sheet is effectively the amount, at today’s prices that the Union will have to pay to the fund to reduce its share of the overall deficit so the fund is in a balanced position, and contribute to the running costs of SUSS.

During 2016-2017 there has been a valuation of the fund, and the assumptions arrived at, including a two year extension to the liability recovery period, has resulted in an increase in the Union’s pension liability to £5.6m and required a notional charge (non-cash) of £1.5m to be included in the Union expenditure for the year. This notional charge is the sole reason for the reported operational deficit for the year. The underlying performance of the Union was strong during 2016-17.

This position is not unique to WSU and excluding the pensions reserve, the Union retains strong cash and reserve balances, in line with the levels set by the Board of Trustees, and as the recovery plan is structured over 16 years, the Union remains in a financially stable position.

Auditors' Disclaimer on Web Based Accounts

  1. The maintenance and integrity of the Warwick SU website is the responsibility of Warwick SU; the work carried out by the auditors does not involve consideration of these matters and, accordingly, the auditors accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occured to the financial statements or audit report since they were initially presented on the website.
  2. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

RSM UK Audit LLP
Chartered Accountants