Consultation on Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme Launched

The Independent Financial Review Panel (IFRP) has today launched a consultation exercise to take the views of individuals and organisations on the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme. Details of the current Pension Scheme are available at http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Documents/Your_MLAs/Assembly-Members-Pension-Scheme-2012-22102012.PDF

The IFRP was established in July 2011 to determine a level of remuneration which reflects the responsibilities of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). The IFRP is also required to ensure that the expenses paid to MLAs to carry out their Assembly and constituency duties are set at the appropriate level.  The Panel is fully independent and its decisions are not subject to approval by the Assembly.

A copy of the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme Consultation Document and information about the consultation process is available on the IFRP website: (www.ifrp.org.uk) or by telephone from the Secretary to the Panel (Tel: 028 90521252).

The deadline for submitting comments is 5pm on Tuesday 8 April 2014.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

The Independent Financial Review Panel was established by the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act 2011. Determinations made by the Panel are not subject to approval by the Assembly or the Assembly Commission.

The Panel Chair and members are as follows:

Chair

Patrick McCartan, CBE, MSc (Dist), FCIPD.

Members

Dr Henrietta Campbell CB, MD, FRCP

Alan McQuillan OBE BSc (Hons) MBA

Below is a table summarising the proposed changes to the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme.

NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY MEMBERS’ PENSION SCHEME REVIEW 2014
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES

ProvisionCurrent positionProposed position with effect from 1 May 2016
Basis of schemeFinal Salary schemeCareer Average Scheme
Retirement ageAge 60Same as State Pension age or 65 whichever is higher
Transitional protectionNot applicableMLAs within 10 years of their retirement age on
1 April 2015 will have the option to remain in the existing Pension Scheme
MLAs contribution rates as a percentage of salary 7% for an accrual rate of 1/50th

12.5% for an accrual rate of 1/40th
An appropriate percentage which will generate an accrual rate of 1/50th of a member’s career average salary.*
Death in service benefits3 x annual pensionable pay

Survivor pension of 5/8ths of annual pension
2 x annual pensionable pay

Survivor pension of 3/8ths of annual pension

* This is currently estimated to be between 10% and 15% of an MLA’s salary and will depend on the Actuary’s Reports. The Panel will wish to ensure an equitable distribution of risk to achieve a 40%/60% (employee/employer) split of responsibility. Currently 44 MLAs pay a 7% pension contribution and 60 pay a 12.5% contribution.

For more information on the Independent Review Panel and its work visit:

www.ifrp.org.uk

For more information please contact:

Secretary
Independent Financial Review Panel
Room 24
Parliament Buildings
Ballymiscaw
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3XX

Tel: 028 9052 1252

Email: info@ifrp.org.uk

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