Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scottish Parliament plans more generous pensions for MSPs

One thing the Scottish Parliament is good at is voting itself as much money as possible .. and in an example of this policy, MSPs are considering changes to their pensions system to give themselves that little bit extra ...

BBC News reports :

Holyrood pension changes proposed

Pay-offs for MSPs are to made more generous under plans drawn up by a Holyrood committee.

It has proposed doubling the resettlement grant for some of the longest serving parliamentarians.

MSPs who lose their seats are at present paid a lump sum related to age - but that no longer complies with discrimination laws.

Costs would be offset by cuts to the pensions of future first ministers and presiding officers.

The proposals still have to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament.

Under existing rules MSPs who lose their seats would receive between half and three quarters of their salary.

Increased contributions

But the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme Committee has now proposed MSPs voted out after three or more terms should get a full year's salary, worth £53,000 - which would double the value of the grant to some members.

The committee's proposed changes to pension arrangements to give MSPs the option of accruing future benefits at either 1/50 or 1/40 of their final salary.

At present, MSPs' pensions are based on 1/50 of their final salary for each year of service, and a 6% contribution rate.

The extra cost of the latter option should be met by increasing the contribution rate to 11%, it was recommended.

The committee also proposed that future first ministers and presiding officers should receive a one-off resettlement grant of six months salary, as well as an entitlement to their MSP's pension.

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