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Members’ Staff: Pensions

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what discussions the House of Commons Commission has had with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on the system of pensions for staff of hon. Members; and if the Commission will make it its policy to continue the Portcullis Pension Plan for staff alongside any new system of allowances and expenses for hon. Members brought in by the Authority. (322025)

The Speaker, on behalf of the Commission, discussed the future of the Portcullis Plan with the Interim Chief Executive of IPSA, Andrew McDonald, at their meeting on 16 February. The Commission has agreed that the House Service will continue to administer the Portcullis Pension Plan, including making it available to new members of Members’ staff, subject to review when IPSA takes on some responsibility for Members’ pensions. Members will fund the employer’s contribution from their staffing budgets and the Chair of IPSA has said these will be set at a level which allows for appropriate pension contributions to be made. IPSA will make the necessary deductions from the staff payroll. IPSA has agreed to follow the House’s current arrangements for the plan, under which a single standard employer contribution rate of 10 per cent. of total salary is paid; and staff are automatically enrolled in the plan unless they opt out. The House’s Pensions Unit will liaise with IPSA officials to ensure co-ordination of their work. The Commission believes this agreement will provide reassurance to existing and new Members’ staff, and to Members themselves.