Official Report (Hansard)
Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Committee for Education
Teachers' Superannuation (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 and Teachers' Superannuation (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014
The Chairperson: I again welcome to the Committee Seamus Gallagher, deputy head of pensions policy; and Brian Quinn, pensions policy team. Seamus is becoming a regular part of the Committee. Members, we have discussed this issue in the past. Seamus will give us a brief presentation on the SL1. Brian, will you deal with the other one, or is there just the one?
Mr Brian Quinn (Department of Education): I will take the SL1 first.
The Chairperson: OK. Thank you.
Mr Quinn: Thank you, Chair and Committee, for the chance to come back to you today to talk about the SL1 for the increase in contributions for teachers' pensions from April 2014. When we spoke to you on 5 February, we took the opportunity to brief you on the outcome of the consultation that ended on 20 January, even though, at that stage, we had not forwarded the SL1.
As you will recall, this is the third year of a three-year programme of increases in contributions across public sector pensions. Eighty per cent of the savings were achieved in years 1 and 2, so, in this third year, there will be a final 20% contribution increase. That will take the average contribution for teachers to 9·6%.
You will also recall that we mentioned that we were working to a fairly tight and challenging timescale. To meet the 1 April deadline, we will seek to lay the regulations by 10 March. We will ask for the Committee's cooperation in helping us to meet that timescale.
We have gone through this in some detail in the past, so I do not intend to go into it in much detail today. Since we last spoke to you, we have forwarded the SL1. Following some of the questions the last day, you asked for further information, and we have provided a document. At this stage, we are happy to take any further questions that you have about the SL1.
The Chairperson: Do members have any questions about the SL1? If not, are members content for the SL1 Teachers’ Superannuation (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 to be made?
Members indicated assent.
The Chairperson: SR 2014/37 is less controversial. Seamus, do you want to speak about it? It is really a tidying-up exercise.
Mr Seamus Gallagher (Department of Education): Yes, it is. We covered all the issues the last time we attended about the SL1. We have since laid the regulations, which will come into operation on 10 March. There is not much more that I can add to what we previously said.
The Chairperson: The proposal is that the Committee has considered SR 2014/37, Teachers’ Superannuation (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014, and has no objection to the rule. Agreed?
Members indicated assent.
The Chairperson: Seamus and Brian, sorry for the delay in getting you in. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you again when this issue comes before us.
Mr Gallagher: We will be back over pension reform. [Laughter.]