Increase to schools' pensions contributions must be covered by UK Government funding


The UK Government’s Department for Education is currently consulting on proposals to allocate up to £910 million in additional funding to schools and colleges in England to cover higher teacher pension scheme costs in 2019-20, arising as a result of changes to the discount rate applied by the Treasury in valuations of public service pension schemes.

Although education is a responsibility of the Welsh Government, the changes to the employer liabilities under the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will impact on the budget of schools and colleges in Wales. As these changes to employer contributions are a result of decisions taken by the UK Government, it is crucial that the Treasury makes funding available to cover the increase in Wales as they intend to do in England.

Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion, has called on the UK Government to clarify whether the funds allocated to cover the increased pension contributions in England will also be made available to schools and colleges in Wales.

Ben Lake said:

“Schools and colleges in England have rightly been reassured by the UK Government that they will be provided with additional funding in 2019-2020 to pay for the increased pension contribution costs. It is crucial that schools and colleges in Wales, whose budgets are already under immense strain, are afforded the same support. After all, the UK Statement of Funding Policy clearly states that if decisions by the UK Government lead to additional costs for any of the devolved administrations, it is the UK Government that will meet that cost.

"It is crucial that this increase is funded by the UK Government, for otherwise it will have a severe impact on the finances of our schools and colleges. School across Ceredigion cannot afford yet another unfunded cost on budgets that are already at crisis point.”

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