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Chief Minister stresses independent status of public service pensions report 3 October 2008

THERE is continuing misunderstanding over the status of the report by consultants Hymans Robertson on the future of public service pensions, Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK said today (Friday October 3, 2008).

He also reiterated that no statement had been made by himself or Government at any time indicating that any change would be retrospective. Any simplification measures would protect the value of members’ accrued benefits.

The report by the Glasgow-based actuarial firm was published in May this year after it had undertaken an independent review of the options for simplifying the 19 separate public service pension schemes that currently exist on the Island.

The Chief Minister explained:

‘This was an external report that was published for information only so that interested parties would be aware of the findings. I have said it before and I will say it again – the Government and Tynwald have not adopted any part of the report or its findings.
‘It seems that misunderstanding of the status of the Hymans Roberson report is continuing, and it is regrettable that this has led to unnecessary concerns and anxiety. The report was the result of an independent review commissioned by Government following recommendations from a Tynwald Select Committee.’

Mr Brown again pointed out that while the report itself had made a number of proposals, all that Government and Tynwald had agreed so far was a set of principles to form the basis of further work. The Council of Ministers is due to report back to Tynwald with recommendations in December this year.

The Chief Minister continued:

‘I will also repeat the firm undertaking given by myself that any proposals for change will be subject to full consultation with public service employee unions and representative bodies.’

The Chief Minister added that full consultation with staff and their representatives would take place following the debate in Tynwald on December.

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