HL Deb 26 May 2004 vol 661 c134WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why there has been a delay in the creation of a pension arrangement for staff of cross-border implementation bodies; what assurances have been offered to staff; and what legal basis such assurances have.[HL2735]

Baroness Amos

The process of establishing a pension scheme for the North/South bodies has been lengthy due to the number of complex legal and other issues surrounding the unique status of this cross-border scheme, which have had to be actioned and resolved in consultation with a number of stakeholders in both the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

All staff have been assured that, where they are eligible to join the scheme, membership will be made retrospective to when they joined the relevant body. Benefits which may become due prior to the scheme coming into effect will be calculated and paid on the basis of the draft scheme rules at the time the rights accrue.

The Government are satisfied that the assurances provide the staff of the North/South implementation bodies with sufficient safeguards pending the implementation of the North/South pension scheme.