New-Look LGPS for Scotland
The second meeting of the tri-partite Scottish Local
Government Pension Advisory Group (SLOGPAG) was held on 28 September
2006. This body includes representatives from the trade unions,
CoSLA and the Scottish Executive and is tasked with developing
a New-Look LGPS for Scotland.
New Scheme Timetable
The key issues for discussion from the last meeting
were the scope for developing a new Scottish scheme and the timescale
in which to deliver it. The trade unions and CoSLA had made representations
to Scottish Ministers that the proposed timetable, which broadly
mirrored the English arrangements, would leave only a couple of
months to develop a new Scottish scheme.
At the SLOGPAG meeting the Scottish Executive representatives
indicated that the minister was responding positively to these
representations. In particular he recognised the scope for
developing a distinctive Scottish scheme and that this required
a longer period to develop. This involves a development period
up to June/July 2007 followed by the formal consultation and parliamentary
stages and then a period to prepare systems etc. In practical
terms this probably means implementation in early 2009. This breaks
any remaining links with the English scheme timetable.
The trade unions and CoSLA welcomed this response
and we have agreed to meet on 1 November to draft a revised timetable
for consideration at the next SLOGPAG meeting.
Key Issues for the New-Look LGPS
CoSLA tabled a revised list of key issues that reflected
our separate discussions. In addition we have added a review of
pension fund governance and indicated that there may be a number
of other amendments to the scheme that reflect our consultation
with members (see P&I Briefing 145). Any new scheme would
also have to include an equality impact assessment.
CoSLA have retained actuaries who will work up detailed
costing of a final salary scheme at different accrual rates using
actual Scottish fund figures. This is the essential starting point
for discussing a new scheme and will give us a clearer indication
of the costs involved. This should be available for our next meeting.
Other LGPS Issues
The regulations implementing the tax changes have
been tabled in the Scottish Parliament for implementation on 6
October. The regulations abolishing the Rule of 85 and the more
favourable Scottish transitional arrangements will be promulgated
shortly with an implementation date of 1 December 2006. The judicial
review was not successful as set out in the last bulletin.
The minister is still considering his approach to
the proposed Discretionary Compensation Regulations. This has
been the subject of consultation in England but nothing has been
proposed in Scotland. There will have to be a separate Scottish
consultation and we will prepare a full briefing when the minister
decides how to take this issue forward.
The very welcome agreement on scope and timescales
means we now have time to develop the Scottish LGPS.
We are planning an LGPS seminar on Wednesday
22 November 2006 in Glasgow starting at 11am and finishing
at around 3pm. Details will follow and we anticipate being able
to look in detail at the issues surrounding the new scheme.
For further details contact:
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser (Policy) email@example.com
Kenny MacLaren, Information Development Officer
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