Comment on: RIBA opens pension plan for architects
At long last the RIBA is proposing something of genuine value to its members. The suggestion of an architects' bank (as they have in Spain) has to be the next obvious step since so many small practices have and will continue to have - difficulty in obtaining finance at affordable rates and terms from the existing banking system. Peter Morris seems to miss the obvious point when criticising this initiative that in trying to improve the financial security of its members, the RIBA is also helping to create the circumstances in which it is actually possible to conceive and deliver better buildings. I note Peter doesn't offer a plan for how the latter might otherwise be achieved - just a whinge about his interpretation of the RIBA's remit which, in its offering of a genuine benefit to the bulk of its members, he strangely finds reason to disagree with. Over the years I've not found myself to be a great fan of the Institute and the inconsequential witterings of its endlessly self-reconstituting Councils but this is undoubtedly the kind of proposition that gives practising registered architects a sound reason to be(come) a member. For once, therefore, well done to Andy Munro for being on the ball and looking creatively outside of the Portland Place box to find a genuinely valuable way of supporting the vast majority of RIBA members.
If I'm not mistaken, ARB - without any pre-announcement that I am aware of - arbitrarily moved the registration date forward by a month (it used to be the end of January each year) so it's little wonder such a high number of architects have found themselves caught out. Quite apart from banking the registration fees a month earlier than usual, the £65 penalty to re-register does not suggest a proportionate charge - it indicates ARB's cost structure is way out of line and needs to be reined in. High time to move this organisation - if it is needed at all - out of its expensive central London eyrie.