Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation

Peter McCallion
Clerk for Committee for Finance
19 August 2021
Room 373,
Parliament Buildings

Dear Peter

Response to the Financial Reporting (Departments and Public Bodies) Bill

Thank you for inviting the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) to submit a response to the Financial Reporting (Departments and Public Bodies) Bill. As an NDPB listed as a designated body, we would make the following submission.

Our reading of the draft Bill and accompanying explanatory memorandum is that it will introduce new powers for the Department of Finance to direct how designated bodies prepare estimates and accounts. NILGOSC is listed as a designated body in the Annex, which would bring it within scope of the new legislation.

NILGOSC is the public body responsible for administering the Local Government Pension Scheme for Northern Ireland and sits outside of the central government boundary. NILGOSC is self-funded and receives no money from Department of Finance or Department for Communities and does not participate in the Supply Estimates process. On this basis, we do not consider it appropriate that NILGOSC is within the scope of the proposed legislation.

We have previously queried NILGOSC’s classification as an NDPB and inclusion within the central government financial reporting process. This is on the basis that no central government funding is received and that the assets and liabilities of the Local Government Pension Scheme belong to the pension fund itself (on behalf of pension scheme members and beneficiaries), with any expenditure being met directly from the fund. We have previously been advised by our sponsoring department, the Department for Communities, that NILGOSC is classified as an NDPB solely because the appointment of its oversight Board falls under the public appointments process. We do not consider that this alone should bring the Local Government Pension Scheme under the direction of Department of Finance with respect to how its budget or accounts are prepared. We therefore propose that NILGOSC is removed from the list of designated bodies for the purpose of the Financial Reporting (Departments and Public Bodies) Bill.

I should be grateful if you would arrange for NILGOSC’s response to be submitted to the Committee for Finance for consideration. If you have any queries in respect of this response, do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Todd Deputy Secretary

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