Laura Sharman 11 March 2014

Councillors to lose tax-payer funded pensions

Councillors to lose tax-payer funded pensions image

Councillors are to lose taxpayer-funded pensions, under new reforms announced today.

Local government minister, Brandon Lewis, has announced that legal changes will be made to the Local Government Pension Scheme that will see taxpayer-funded pensions for new councillor and other elected officers abolished from 1 April 2014.

Mr Lewis said: ‘I believe these necessary reforms deliver on the coalition government’s pledge to reform public sector pensions and provide a fair deal for public service workers and taxpayers.

‘The reforms ensure that local government pensions are fair, affordable and sustainable in the long term, particularly in the light of changing demographics, and are justifiable to taxpayers who foot the bill for employer contributions.’

Mr Lewis announced the changes back in 2012, when he said taxpayer-funded pensions for councillors were unjustified as they are not employees but ‘volunteers undertaking public service’.

The Government’s response to the consultation on the changes states: ‘In reaching this decision, the Government does not believe, as some have argued, that councillors are employed by local authorities or that they are workers or part-time workers.

‘The Government therefore remains of the view that taxpayers, via the Local Government Pension Scheme, should not be funding pensions for councillors or other elected local office-holders.’

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