Public Service Pensions Bill

Memorandum submitted by Public Service Pensioners’ Council (PSPC) (PSP 12)

PENSIONER REPRESENTATION ON PENSION BOARDS

I write as General Secretary to the Public Service Pensioners’ Council (PSPC). The PSPC was established almost fifty years ago with the aim of protecting the interests of retired public servants. It brings together the various organisations of retired public servants and the retired members’ sections of public sector unions in order to provide a united voice to Government and the main political parties on issues of concern to public service pensioners.

The PSPC notes Clause 5 of the Public Service Pensions Bill relating to the establishment of Pension Boards to oversee the administration and governance of public service schemes. The PSPC urges the Bill Committee to give serious consideration to establishing mandatory pensioner representation on each Pension Board to represent the pensioner viewpoint. We believe that pensioners have different concerns and needs to those of active members which raises the need to have separate representation for pensioners. Pensioners are not accruing additional pension rights, but rely on good administration and excellent communication in order to understand their pensions.

The PSPC believes that any pensioner representative(s) should be drawn from appropriate membership organisations rather than through direct election. Such organisations exist for retired members of all of the various public service pension schemes. We are concerned that Board members may find it difficult to represent or communicate with retired members if they are not a representative of a retired member organisation/trade union or in close contact with one. A member elected under such circumstances would merely be able to offer their own experience rather than be linked to the experience of members as a whole.

November 2012

Prepared 8th November 2012