United Way Circulates Report on Pension Misdeeds

December 17, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The United Way of America wants all its affiliates to read a report detailing how a $2.1-million pension damaged the credibility of a United Way operation covering the Charlotte region.

A Charlotte Observer news report said the document, commissioned by the United Way of Central Carolinas, found that the affiliate’s former CEO, Gloria Pace King, engineered her pension despite a lawyer’s concerns that it might violate federal tax rules.

“We want to make sure this is a one-time, one-place problem,” Joe Haggerty, the chief operating officer of the United Way of America, told the newspaper. The United Way has 1,285 affiliates.

According to the news account, the document said King worked to hide the pension from the public and most of her board, and it concluded that there were not enough safeguards to prevent it. She was fired in September after news reports of the pension appeared two years earlier.

The Observer said the pension report found King ordered subordinates to find justification for her raise. When a consultant’s 2006 report recommended a $729,000 pension plan, King and the consultant privately made revisions that tripled the pension’s value.