Headlines: October 30th, 2002

More decisions on the way local government pensions are run could be taken at local level by fund administrators if proposals in a government discussion paper go ahead.The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is inviting comments on how to make the local government pension scheme stronger, more cost-effective and simpler to understand for both employers and staff – perhaps by using IT solutions. Current final salary arrangements will be safeguarded.

The aim of the paper is to pave the way for more decisions on pension administration to be taken at a local level. Views are being sought on how the scheme can be made stronger and more clear through the improved ordering of the sequence of provisions and on what scope exists for introducing a new mix of regulations and codes.

The department also wants to hear thoughts on how communication of regulations and guidance can be improved. Interested parties are being asked for suggestions on how technology, such as CD-ROM and the Internet, as well as more conventional printed plain English guides could be used to improve understanding of the scheme.

Local Government Minister, Christopher Leslie, said, ” Where you have too much red tape and unnecessary regulations pensions are not only complex, but also fail to provide the value for money both employees and fund administrators expect.”