Monday, August 10, 2015

LGA legal advice on Pensions for Councillors

The Local Government Association has publised guidence obtained from Eversheds solicitors on "Powers of Councils to Pay Pensions to Elected Members".

The summary of this advice (copied below) is in its latest newsletter which can be found here.  

The actual advice can be found on on this legal opinions page.

I have contacted the Newham Monitoring office (again) as a Councillor expressing my concerns about the Executive decision to go ahead with Pensions for Councillors in light of this advice.

I have been refused access to internal legal advice given to Newham Cabinet members. 

"This advice has been obtained to clarify whether a council in England can make contributions to alternative pension provision for its elected members following the changes brought about by the LGPS (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014, which ended the power for councils in England to offer their elected members membership of the LGPS.

It is Eversheds’ view that, whilst councils have a general power of competence under s1 of the Localism Act 2011, such a power does not permit a council to do anything which it has been specifically prohibited from doing. The changes brought about by the Transitional Regulations 2014, which were explicit in ending the option for councils in England to provide pension provision to elected members, would mean the general power of competence could not be used to make contributions to alternative pensions provision.

The advice from Eversheds also considers that auto-enrolment would not apply to councillors as they are office holders and would not meet the definition of workers under the Pensions Act 2008. The advice notes particular provisions relating to the Greater London Authority and Mayoral Development Corporations which interested parties are advised to be aware of"

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