One MHK is still not paying for pension

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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One MHK is still not paying towards their Tynwald pension – two and half years after voluntary contributions were brought in.

In October 2012, Isle of Man Newspapers revealed that four Tynwald members were not paying the minimum 3 per cent voluntary contribution introduced in April that year.

All MHKs subsequently told us that they were now contributing.

But an access to government information request has confirmed that is not the case – and, with the voluntary contribution rate now having risen to 5 per cent there is still one not paying up. Treasury declined to reveal the MHK’s identity.

Pension contributions are now compulsory to all new members. A government working group is recommending the rate is doubled to 10 per cent – and 15 per cent for those who want to retain existing benefits.

Replying to our request, Treasury said two members, both MHKs, did not contribute to their pension in 2012/13. This was the case with one MHK in 2013/14 and in the current financial year to date one MHK was not paying towards their pension.

Infrastructure Minister, Phil Gawne, who has paid voluntary contributions each year at the agreed rates, said it was ‘shocking’. ‘It really is pathetic,’ he said.

One MHK, Chris Thomas (Douglas West) and four MLCs, all elected in 2013, compulsorily pay towards their pensions under new rules brought in the previous October. Mr Thomas said he was ‘surprised’ to learn one MHK was not contributing. ‘I would be contributing even if it was voluntary,’ he said.

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