The LGPS is a statutory scheme with some parts subject to local decision on how provisions will apply. In formulating and reviewing pension and flexible retirement policies, Waverley seeks to establish a framework for the exercise of its discretionary powers which is equitable, workable, and affordable having regard to the foreseeable costs.
Decisions in each case should take account of the implications for service provision as well as any costs to be borne by Waverley.
Pension regulations to apply from 1 April 2008 have now been made, but guidance on their application is not yet available, and amendment regulations are expected to correct some drafting errors. It is therefore possible that Waverley will wish to review these policies in the light of the guidance issued, or any subsequent changes to the Regulations.
Equality and Diversity Implications:
This report sets a framework for Waverley to exercise its powers in a way that is equitable and would not give rise to any equality or diversity challenge.
1. The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a statutory pension scheme that applies to all staff within local government. Significant changes have been agreed to the scheme to ensure it remains affordable and relevant for the 21st Century. These changes come into effect on 1 April 2008.
2. Discretionary provisions in the LGPS enable local authority employers to manage employment situations to the advantage of the Council and employee.
3. The LGPS Regulations effective from 1 April 2008 (LGPS 2008) include several provisions requiring scheme employers to decide on their approach locally, to publish policy statements and to keep them under review.
4. These LGPS 2008 arrangements will supersede policies and delegations on pension matters that were agreed in relation to previous LGPS Regulations.
5. Banding of contributions - Regulation 3. LGPS 2008 introduces tiered employee pension contribution rates dependent on salary level. Many staff will see their pension contributions increase as a result, compared to the current 6% employee contribution rate for all staff.
6. Scheme members will pay pension contributions according to the table below and based on their whole time equivalent pay (so part-timers will pay contributions determined by their whole-time equivalent pay, not the part-time pay actually earned).
(Figures will increase on 1 April each year by the rise in RPI)
Waverley agrees to consider requests from deferred members only when there are compassionate grounds or to relieve severe financial hardship is no cost to Waverley.
22. The new IDRP requires each employer to appoint a “specified person” to hear appeals from any scheme member or their dependent or representative who disputes a decision that the employer has made. The Surrey County Council as offered their Pensions Manger to act as the “specified person “ for the Districts and Boroughs.
23. If the SCC Pensions Manager has been involved in the case that has been appealed Waverley needs to have another reserve “specified person “ who may hear the appeal. It is recommended that Waverley makes an arrangement with another District or Borough to hear appeals on a reciprocal basis.