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RCN finished last year in 'strong financial position'

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The Royal College of Nursing made a surplus of over £10m last year but is still struggling to sort out its pension scheme deficit, according to the union’s latest financial report.

The college’s annual report stated that the RCN Group ended the year to 31 December 2014 with a surplus before taxation of £10.6m.

“My overriding message is that the RCN remains financially strong”

David Harding-Price

Total income for the group for the year was £87.8m compared with expenditure of £78.7m.

However, the total net assets of the RCN Group decreased from £49.2m to £45.6m, due to the effect of the college’s pension scheme increasing deficit.

As of December last year, the scheme was in deficit by £56.6m, a rise on a £49.7m deficit in 2013.

The report was presented today to RCN members attending the college’s annual conference in Bournemouth.

Due to the college’s “strong” financial position, The RCN’s honorary treasurer David Harding-Price told congress that there would be no increase in the RCN’s membership fee during 2016.

“My overriding message is that the RCN remains financially strong,” he said. “This is important because the more sound we are financially, the better we can support you [the members] and get your voice heard at all levels.

“However, we must remain aware that there are major challenges ahead but we are well placed to deal with them,” he said.

Chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter described the RCN’s financial position as “sound”, saying: “We need that healthy surplus to protect against unforeseen expenditure”.

“Our financial position is sound,” he said. “We’ve achieved this from income from rising membership numbers.”

“Looking back over my years, I’m very proud that we’ve stabilised the finances of the RCN…and set us on a firm footing for the future,” he told delegates.

But he noted there “some challenges”, foremost of which was the cost of the RCN staff pension scheme.

However, he noted there “some challenges”, foremost of which was the cost of the RCN staff pension scheme. He told delegates there was an “orderly plan” in place to tackle the scheme’s deficit.

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