20th October 2010
Pension Scheme Member Update - Public Sector Pensions Bill
As the manager of the majority of public sector schemes in the Isle of Man, the Civil Service Commission wishes to update the members of its schemes on the progress of the Public Sector Pensions Bill.
As you will be aware, this Bill is being progressed by the Council of Ministers and not the Civil Service Commission. However, the Commission considers that it is important to keep scheme members updated on developments.
The Council of Ministers has been progressing the Public Sector Pensions Bill, which is in its final stages of drafting, and is expected to receive its first reading in the House of Keys in October of this year. As you may recall, the Bill seeks to replace the Superannuation Act 1984, which is currently the legislation under which Isle of Man public service schemes are made and amended, and put in place updated legislation to underpin all public sector pension schemes in the Island.
It seeks to establish a new Public Sector Pensions Authority, to clarify who is responsible for managing, maintaining and administering public servants’ pensions, and seeks to standardise the powers to create and amend pension schemes across all public sector occupational groups in the Isle of Man.
Importantly, it includes the requirement for future changes to schemes to be approved by Tynwald, before being implemented. However, whilst the Pensions Bill will break the automatic link with the UK, the majority of our public service schemes will remain based upon UK Schemes, and will therefore remain subject to change as amendments are made in the UK unless Tynwald determines otherwise.
The Commission is aware that some members of its schemes consider that the Pensions Bill introduces the Unified Pension Scheme. The Commission wishes to make it clear to all its scheme members that the Pensions Bill and the Unified Pension Scheme are separate and distinct exercises.
In considering the Pensions Bill, the Civil Service Commission has been a ‘Champion’ of the modernisation of the current Superannuation Act and a new Act would have been required whether or not the Unified Pension Scheme was being progressed.
The aim of the Bill is to introduce an Act that is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the potential requirements of the Island’s public servants’ pension and superannuation arrangements both now and in the future, whether or not those arrangements may change in the future.
Civil Service Commission
20 October 2010