Written Ministerial Statement 4th July 2012
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Public Service Pensions
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Rt hon Danny Alexander): On 20 December
2011 I set out to the House the main elements of the new public service pension
scheme designs, following the agreements reached with the majority of unions
representing health, civil service and teachers’ workers (Hansard, Column 1201).
These agreements were based on the Government’s enhanced offer, an 8% value
increase, which I announced in the House on 2 November 2011 (Hansard,
Departments continued to engage with trades unions to finalise the remaining
details of the new schemes. Those discussions concluded earlier this year, with
Proposed Final Agreements being reached. My honourable friends the Minister
for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the Minister of State Department
for Education and the Secretary of State for Health reported the details of these
final agreements to the House on 12 March (Hansard, Column: 1WS, C4WS and
The Government made it clear that the Proposed Final Agreements were its final
position. Most of the unions agreed to take the agreements to their Executives
on this basis, as the best deal that could be achieved through negotiations.
Most unions have now consulted their membership on the final scheme designs
for the NHS Pension Scheme, Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Principal Civil
Service Pension Scheme.
I am now confirming to the House that the Government will be taking forward
legislation based on the position reached in March. Legislation will be introduced
during the current Parliamentary Session to take these changes forward, as
announced in the Queen’s Speech on 9 May.
I can also confirm that the Government has reviewed the Fair Deal policy and
agreed to maintain the overall approach, but deliver this by offering access to
public service pension schemes for transferring staff. When implemented, this
means that all staff whose employment is compulsorily transferred from the
public service under TUPE, including subsequent TUPE transfers, to independent
providers of public services will retain membership of their current employer’s
pension arrangements. These arrangements will replace the current broad
comparability and bulk transfer approach under Fair Deal, which will then no
longer apply. The Government will bring forward detailed proposals for
implementing this in the autumn.
The Government will now focus on implementing the public service pension
reforms and unions are invited to work with the Government to ensure the
changes are introduced as effectively as possible.
4 July 2012