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Clergy pensioners and the level of their CHARM-scheme payments

22 August 2014


From Mr Derek Thackray

Sir, - I imagine that if, as the Revd Paul Nicolson suggests (Letters, 15 August), the house he occupies is worth £400,000, the "extreme capitalist crowd" he suspects the Church of England Pensions Board has joined would think his fee of £523 a month a very poor return for their money.

I really think his first charitable thoughts about the Board's housing scheme were nearer the truth than the words he chose to express his second thoughts. Of course, if he did die tomorrow (on which he bases argument), they would then be able with the proceeds of sale - but only just - to house another pensioner like him who retired to London like him to continue working and campaigning for poor residents.

Alternatively, they might feel better placed to use the capital realised to buy three similar houses up here for other fellow pensioners. And, also of course, if church property is sold at a profit, the profit is available for use only for church purposes, which would be rather restrictive for extreme capitalists.

DEREK THACKRAY 3 Ash Close, Swaffham Norfolk PE37 7NH 

[The Revd Paul Nicolson informs us that he misread his bank account and called his C of E Pensions Board pension of £523 his Pensions Board licence fee, which is in fact £486.94 a month. But the Board, he writes, seeks to increase his target licence fee to £580.54 a month, which would amount to more than £1200 a year out of his tax paid income when he is 92. Editor]


From the Revd Tony Bell

Sir, - I have just received notice from the C of E Pensions Board that I am paying £161.15 per month too much rent, but I might get reductions of £5 per month each year from a review next April. That would mean I could look forward to paying the right level of rent in about 32 years' time. (I will then be aged 99.)

I haven't done the sum for the amount of overpayment that will involve over that time, if I survive. The Pensions Board says in the letter that it has to maintain its level of income.

TONY BELL 4 Godfrey Close,
Rochester Kent ME2 3QS

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