AN MHK failed to gain support for the existing Tynwald members’ pension scheme to be closed after the general election.
Liberal Vannin MHK Kate Beecroft (Douglas South) had called for a new money purchase pension scheme to be created as a replacement – and that the emoluments committee should prepare details of the scheme to be placed before Tynwald by March 2014.
Mrs Beecroft said that Tynwald should be leading by example to reduce its liability: ‘This government has not gained the trust of the people. That trust is going to be essential if we are going to get through the years of fiscal frugality together.’
She said that while addressing the Tynwald pension scheme would only solve 1 per cent of the problem of the sustainability of Tynwald and public sector pensions ‘it’s the 1 per cent that we can actually address today’.
Castletown MHK Richard Ronan said the Tynwald members’ scheme was the most unfair. In 2012, before voluntary contributions were introduced, the average member contribution was zero, while the taxpayers’ contribution was 43 per cent.
But he said the taxpayer also contributed significant amounts to other public sector workers’ pensions, including 37.9 per cent of the judiciary scheme and 42.7 per cent of the fire service scheme.
Tynwald members approved an amendment by Michael MHK Alfred Cannan, who is vice-chairman of the public sector pensions authority.
He called for members to accept that the public sector pension scheme liability remained of ‘significant concern’.
The authority will publish an interim report in May detailing the latest management information on scheme costs and benefits payable over the last 12 months. And it will report to Tynwald by October on proposals for implementing a detailed cost sharing mechanism under the unified scheme, as well as any other areas – including Tynwald members’ pensions – where cost savings could be applied to public sector pension schemes.
He described the original motion as ‘economic madness’ and ‘unworkable’.
Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan MHK said he would support Mr Cannan’s amendment as it would enable ‘evidence-based’ policy decisions to be made.
Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK warned that changes to the public sector pension scheme could make it more difficult to recruit staff such as teachers and medical staff from off-island.
Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK agreed with Mrs Beecroft that the Tynwald members’ pension scheme be closed, saying that public were ‘losing confidence’.
Bishop Robert Paterson failed to get support for his amendment calling for the Tynwald members’ pension scheme to be closed after the general election and for research to be carried out into alternatives.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
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