Ministerial Pensions – an open letter to Francis Maude

Rt Hon Francis Maude MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

2nd May 2012

Dear Francis,

The House of Commons Library notified me that you slipped out a ministerial statement yesterday as Parliament was being prorogued and few MPs were here. You stated that:

“In order to ensure that this change in contributions does not inadvertently increase the benefits earned by the members of this pension scheme, which are determined by a complex calculation, it is now necessary to make some further small technical changes by way of an amendment scheme”.

I would be grateful if you would confirm the following:

1)   I was correct in warning on 20th March that the changes which you were going to bring in on 1st April would have the effect of increasing Cabinet Minister pensions;

2)   If I had not pursued this issue, you would have ensured that Cabinet Ministers, uniquely in the public sector, would have been paid bigger pensions in return for making higher pension contributions;

3)   Your statement to Parliament yesterday that your 1st April changes would “increase the benefits earned by the members of this pension scheme” is incorrect, as only Cabinet Ministers would have received higher pensions and more junior ministers would have paid for these by receiving lower pensions;

4)   Whether you, or your special adviser, on or around 2nd April made statements to the media describing what I had published as “wrong” and denying that your pension changes would increase Cabinet Minister pensions;

5)   If such statements were made by your special adviser or other media conduit, whether you personally authorised it and take responsibility for them;

6)   You failed to consult the trustees of the pension scheme about the further changes which you have made to the scheme from 1st May and that their legality may consequently be questioned;

7)   Cabinet Ministers will still receive higher pensions in return for their higher contributions on account of accrual during April, contrary to what you told Parliament in your ministerial statement of 1st May;

8)   Whether you fully notified minister of state and under-secretaries of the reduced pension they would receive following your 1st April changes;

9)   The extent to which you oversee changes to civil service pensions or have a role, consultative or otherwise, in respect of other public sector pension schemes; and

10) Whether it is appropriate for you to continue exercising such responsibility in light of your management of the ministerial pension scheme.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Reckless MP
Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood

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2 Comments

Filed under Francis Maude, Mark In Westminster, mark reckless, Pensions, rochester and strood

2 responses to “Ministerial Pensions – an open letter to Francis Maude

  1. David

    Well pursued Mark. Hope you get a proper answer that addresses your excellent points.

    Another blot on politicians caused by the few.

  2. D. Lowe

    How about MPs pensions, which apart from Ministers are the very best in the UK.

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