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The current draft of the Public Service Pension Bill includes elements which do not recognise the unique position of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This is the view expressed by Bob Summers, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Pensions Panel, during a Public Service Pensions Bill Committee oral evidence session this morning.
Mr Summers pointed in particular to provisions in the Bill which would move, from local to central control, the responsibility for setting employer contribution rates and the timing of their application. This represents a major shift in the governance of local authority pensions and raises questions about future local democratic accountability for those pension funds.
Other clauses in the Bill would impose new costs at a time when government is seeking to make budget cuts and other clauses do not appear to recognise that requirements can be found in existing local government financial regulation.
Mr Summers commented,
“I am pleased to have been able to provide evidence to the Committee this morning and raise some of these concerns on behalf of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
“The Bill is still in its early stages, hopefully the Parliamentary scrutiny process will take on board some of these concerns and the legislation can be improved before becoming law.”
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Notes to Editors:
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.