The Local Government Association (LGA) and trade unions have today announced the outcome of their negotiations on new LGPS proposals (for England and Wales) to take effect from 1st April 2014.
These proposals will now be communicated to scheme members, employers, funds and other scheme interests. Unions will consult their members over these proposals and the LGA will consult employers. The government has confirmed that a favourable outcome of our consultations will enable them to move directly to a statutory consultation later in the Autumn to implement these proposals.
The main provisions of the proposed LGPS 2014 are:
1 A Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme using CPI as the revaluation factor (the current scheme is a final salary scheme).
2 The accrual rate would be 1/49th (the current scheme is 1/60th).
3 There would be no normal scheme pension age, instead each member’s Normal Pension Age (NPA) would be their State Pension Age (the current scheme has an NPA of 65).
4 Average member contributions to the scheme would be 6.5% (same as the current scheme) with the rate determined on actual pay (the current scheme determines part-time contribution rates on full time equivalent pay). While there would be no change to average member contributions, the lowest paid would pay the same or less and the highest paid would pay higher contributions on a more progressive scale after tax relief.
5 Members who have already or are considering opting out of the scheme could instead elect to pay half contributions for half the pension, while still retaining the full value of other benefits. This is known as the 50/50 option (the current scheme has no such flexible option).
6 For current scheme members, benefits for service prior to 1st April are protected, including remaining ‘Rule of 85’ protection. Protected past service continues to be based on final salary and current NPA.
7 Where scheme members are outsourced they will be able to stay in the scheme on first and subsequent transfers (currently this is a choice for the new employer).
All other terms remain as in the current scheme. Future scheme costs will be monitored and controlled to ensure stability and affordability of the LGPS. Further details on cost management and scheme governance will be released once the ongoing discussions in the next part of the LGPS 2014 project are complete.
Heather Wakefield, UNISON National Secretary Local Government, Police and Justice Section said:
“The negotiations over LGPS 2014 have been long and tough and have taken place in a demanding political and economic climate. The process has shown that UNISON, the LGA and the other local government unions can work productively together in the best interests of LGPS members and potential members.
LGPS 2014 is a sustainable, defined benefit scheme, which is designed to protect existing members and be affordable for the low paid and part-time workers who are its majority. Under exacting circumstances, we have achieved the best possible outcome.”