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Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme (NI) 2008

Background Information on the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme

Section 48 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, gives the Northern Ireland Assembly (the Assembly) the power to make provision for the payment of pensions for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). By virtue of this Section, the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme (NI) 2000 came into effect.

The Scheme allows for not more than 5 members of the Assembly to be appointed as Trustees of the Scheme. The current Trustees were appointed on 29 May 2007 and are as follows:

David McClarty MLA (Chairman)
John Dallat MLA
Trevor Lunn MLA
Michelle O’Neill MLA
Jim Wells MLA

On 30 June 2008, the Assembly agreed to confer the power to amend the Pension Scheme to the Assembly Commission. The Commission exercised this power on 1 July 2008 and made a number of changes to the pension scheme in line with changes in legislation at that time. As a consequence the Scheme was renamed the “Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme (NI) 2008”.

On 2 April 2009 the Commission considered a recommendation from the Trustees that the current accrual rate of 1/50th of final salary for each year of service should be increased to 1/40th with effect from 1 April 2009. In agreeing to this change the Commission took account of a number of factors including similar changes which had taken place within other UK Legislatures. However, more significantly, the Commission considered the fact that the contribution members make to the Scheme would be increased from the current 6% to 11.5% of salary, and that as a consequence the proposed change would be “cost neutral” ie the contribution from the public fund would not be affected.


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