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Local Government

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the outcome was of his Department's stocktake of Local Government Pension Scheme funds, with special reference to ongoing sustainability and affordability of the Scheme; and if he will make a statement. [122745]

The Stocktake of the Local Government Pension Scheme is continuing. Consultations on two discussion papers, about the scope for simplification of the regulatory framework and future benefits package, have already taken place and the responses to each are being analysed. A third paper is being prepared to seek views on how best to develop finding strategies within the Scheme, linked closely to the actuarial valuation process that each local authority pension fund is obliged to carry out every three years. The next valuation round takes place on 31 March 2004 and this planned consultation is intended to inform that statutory exercise.Consideration is being given to implementing the necessary changes to the Scheme arising from the issue of Simplicity security and choice: Working and saving for retirement—Action on occupational pensions (Cm 5835, June 2003). Consultations on these, and any which emerge from earlier Stocktake discussion papers, will be brought forward as soon as practicable for consideration by all the interested parties.