HC Deb 14 June 1995 vol 261 cc556-7W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners (1) if the Commissioners are planning to transfer responsibility to dioceses of all the pension commitments currently met by the Commissioners for(a) bishops, (b) dignitaries, (c) clergy (d) lay workers, (e) staff at Church house and No. 1 Millbank and (f) others. [27436]

(2) on what grounds the Commissioners have decided that future pension liabilities should be transferred to dioceses.

Mr. Alison

Jointly with the Pensions Board and the Central Board of Finance, the Church Commissioners will be submitting a report to the General Synod which proposes that dioceses through funds raised from parishes, raise pension contributions for the future service of parochial clergy and licensed layworkers. The financial impact on parishes will be cushioned through transitional provisions funded by the Commissioners.

This proposal reflects actuarial advice that unless the cost of clergy pensions is shared, the Commissioners' investment income will ultimately be absorbed by the cost of pensions, leaving nothing for their other responsibilities and trusts such as the support of needier parishes and dioceses.

The Commissioners will be responsible for the past service liability of clergy and licensed layworkers, including pensions currently in payment, and for the past and future service liability of dignitaries whose stipends are wholly funded by the Commissioners and of staff employed by the Commissioners.

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