HC Deb 09 May 1995 vol 259 c343W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps are being taken to maintain the value of pensions to the clergy.

Mr. Alison

Clergy pensions are increased in line with the previous year's national minimum stipend. The most recent increase, which took effect on 1 April 1995, was 3.3 per cent.

On the wider issue of the funding of clergy pensions, a joint paper produced by the Central Board of Finance, the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board was recently discussed at a national conference with the chairmen and secretaries of diocesan boards of finance. The draft paper will, after further discussion and refinement, be presented to the General Synod in July. It contains proposals for the establishment of a separate funded pension scheme. It is intended that the proposed arrangements will create a firm basis on which to provide continued security for the clergy in their retirement, as well as leaving sufficient funds to support the national ministry, particularly in poorer dioceses and parishes.