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Local Government Pensions

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what progress has been made in discussions between the Local Government Association and the Local Government Employers group in introducing new pension scheme arrangements in England and Wales for local government; and how existing members of local government pension schemes are protected under transitional arrangements; (113527)

(2) what protection is available for existing members of the local government pension schemes in England and Wales; and what the cut-off date is for full protection for schemes in England and Wales.

Since making my written Statement to the House on 23 November 2006 I am aware that several stakeholders, including the Local Government Association and the Local Government Employers, have made good progress in discussions about the reform proposals for a new-look Local Government Pension Scheme. Draft regulations to give effect to my Statement were issued for analysis and comment on 22 December 2006. The closing date for responses is 27 February 2007.

Other things being equal, the transitional protections effective from 1 October 2006 mean that all members of the Scheme at 30 September 2006 will continue to accrue rights up to 31 March 2008, as if the discriminatory provision had not been removed. Beyond 1 April 2008, members who are 60 and would have satisfied the rule of 85 by 31 March 2016, will be fully protected. Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2020, actuarial reductions on rights accruing from 1 April 2007 will be phased in to overcome the cliff edge effect for members born either side of a cut off date. It is also proposed in the current consultation that all members of the Scheme will enjoy an improved accrual rate for membership from 1 April 2008.