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Departmental Pensions

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what his most recent estimate is of the unfunded liability in present value terms of each public sector pension scheme for which his Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount and (b) longevity the estimate is based; (200681)

(2) what the unfunded liability in present value terms was of each public sector pension scheme for which his Department is responsible in each year since 1990-91;

(3) what the (a) rate and (b) cost was of employer contributions for each public sector pension scheme for which his Department has responsibility in each year since 1990-91; and if he will make a statement.

For the vast majority of staff, information since 2000-01 is contained in the resource accounts for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). These have been produced under differing sets of assumptions (e.g. on longevity) so are not comparable across years. Full details can be found on the civil service pensions website at:

www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk

Additionally, as a result of the creation of Her Majesty’s Courts Service in April 2005, this Department became responsible for staff previously employed by 42 magistrates courts committees (MCCs). With the exception of the Greater London Magistrates Courts Authority who were also part of the civil service pension scheme, each of the remaining 41 areas were members of a Local Government Pension Scheme. The Department took responsibility for all pension liabilities at that time which were estimated to be £268 million. This was reflected in the departmental accounts as a provision. The true value of this provision will only be known when all the returns are received from the Local Government Pension Funds. When that figure becomes clearer, HM Treasury will need to determine the discount rate to be applied.

This Department is also responsible for the administration of the pension scheme for the judiciary. Information since 2003-04 is contained in the resource accounts for the Judicial Pension Scheme. Copies of the resource accounts can be found on the Department’s website.

Probation boards participate in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), administered by various bodies. The MOJ is not responsible for the LGPS. Details of liabilities and contribution rates relevant to probation boards can be found in the annual accounts of the national probation service.

The Legal Services Commission operates two pension schemes providing benefits based on final pensionable salary. The assets are held separately from those of the Commission and the Trustees set contributions having taken advice from the Scheme Actuary. Details can be found in the Commission’s annual report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the effect on his Department’s expenditure would be from increasing the employee contribution to each pension scheme for which his Department is responsible by 1 per cent.; and if he will make a statement; (200684)

(2) what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in his Department and its Executive agencies; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, increasing the employee contributions will have no impact on the Department’s expenditure. There is no direct link between the employee and the Department’s contributions so the cost would fall only to the member of staff.

The majority of the information about the value of pensions for the highest paid members of staff is contained in the Remuneration Report which is part of the Department’s accounts.

No formal estimates have been made of any effect of a change in the member’s contribution under the Judicial Pension Scheme.

Probation boards participate in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), administered by various bodies. The MOJ is not responsible for the LGPS. Details of liabilities and contribution rates relevant to probation boards can be found in the annual accounts of the national probation service.

The Legal Services Commission operates two pension schemes providing benefits based on final pensionable salary. The assets are held separately from those of the Commission and the Trustees set contributions having taken advice from the Scheme Actuary. Details can be found in the Commission’s annual report.