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Details relating to MPs' pay, pensions and staffing arrangements
CAS-29385
Disclosure Date:23 Oct 2015
Categories: MPs' PAY AND PENSIONS
Exemptions Applied: Section 21
Request
  1. The percentage of salary contributed from the public purse to each MP's pension for each of the following years:
    1. 2010-11
    2. 2011-12
    3. 2012-13
    4. 2013-14
    5. 2014-15
  2. Are additional salary payments e.g. committee chair, included in the contribution calculation, or is the contribution based on base salary only?
  3. In relation to the financial years from 2013-14 onwards, if an MP accidentally exceeds their annual spending budget, what actions if any are taken by IPSA to recover the overspend?
    1. Are MP's subject to UK employment law when recruiting "connected parties"?
    2. If not, under what clause are they exempt from UK employment law?
    3. Assuming MP's are subject to UK employment law, does IPSA collect or witness
    4. If IPSA does not collect or witness the relevant information, why not?
    5. If IPSA does collect the relevant information, please provide copies for each of the following years:
      1. 2010-11
      2. 2011-12
      3. 2012-13
      4. 2013-14
      5. 2014-15
  4. I have searched your website and cannot find any reference to roles for each of the MP's staff as decided by IPSA. Please provide copies of the same.
  5. Who sets the salaries for MP's staff and on what basis are pay increases awarded
    1. When pay increases are awarded, are they applicable to all members of staff in the same role?
  6. Please provide information as to which government department are responsible for each of the following public expenses relating to MP's:
    1. Ministers pay
    2. Ministers expenses
    3. Ministers pension contributions
    4. All other costs associated with ministers in the execution of their duties
    5. All expenses associated with members of the House of Lords

Response

I will address your requests in turn.

  • The percentage of salary contributed from the public purse to each MP's pension

The Exchequer contribution rate was reviewed by the Government Actuary in 2014, and the amendments were implemented in 2015. Further information on the review can be found in the Government Actuary’s Department’s 2014 valuation of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF).

The Exchequer’s share of the cost of MPs’ pensions can be found within a consultation document on MPs’ pay and pensions that we published in October 2012, available via this link. Table 10 at page 71 of the document provides a breakdown of the historical costs of the MPs’ pension scheme.

A House of Commons Library Paper on the MPs’ Pension Scheme provides full details on the Scheme and its history, and can be found via this link.

IPSA is responsible for making a pension scheme for MPs, which the House of Commons Pensions Unit administers, through the PCPF. It is made up of two schemes – the MPs’ Pension Scheme and also a scheme for Ministers called the Ministerial Pension Scheme. Further information on the PCPF can be found on the Fund’s website: http://www.mypcpfpension.co.uk/.

The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

  • Are additional salary payments e.g. committee chair, included in the contribution calculation, or is the contribution based on base salary only?

Additional salary payments are included in the contribution calculation.

There is a separate pension scheme for Government Ministers. Further information about that scheme can be found in a House of Commons Library Paper, via this link.

  • In relation to the financial years from 2013-14 onwards, if an MP accidentally exceeds their annual spending budget, what actions if any are taken by IPSA to recover the overspend?

The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) provides different budgets to MPs against which they can claim the costs of legitimate business costs and expenses incurred in the exercise of their parliamentary functions. A summary of these budgets, including the relevant budget limits, can be found at Annex A of the Scheme. The Scheme can be found in full on our website, via this link.

Prior to the 2014-15 financial year, MPs were permitted, on occasion, to roll forward amounts incurred into subsequent financial years. Since 2014-15, this has not been permitted. Guidance on overspends can be found at pages 14, 16 and 17 of the Scheme, a link to which is provided above.

Each month, every MP is sent a financial statement summarising their current financial position alongside a projection for each budget for the rest of the financial year. If, at the end of the year, an MP has exceeded a budget limit, they are required to repay the overspend to IPSA.

  • Are MP's subject to UK employment law when recruiting "connected parties"?
  • If not, under what clause are they exempt from UK employment law?
  • Assuming MP's are subject to UK employment law, does IPSA collect or witness
  • If IPSA does not collect or witness the relevant information, why not?
  • If IPSA does collect the relevant information, please provide copies for each of the following years:
    1. 2010-11
    2. 2011-12
    3. 2012-13
    4. 2013-14
    5. 2014-15

Under the Scheme, Staffing Expenditure may only be claimed for the salary of one employee who is a connected party, unless an MP employed more than one connected party on 7 May 2010. You can find a full copy of the Scheme on our website, by following this link.

For the purposes of the Scheme, a connected party is defined as:

  1. a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member;
  2. parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the member or of a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member; or
  3. a body corporate, a firm or a trust with which the MP is connected as defined in section 252 of the Companies Act 2006.

MPs are the legal employers of their staff and are subject to all relevant employment legislation. MPs, as the employers, are wholly responsible for recruitment.

In accordance with our publication policy, we publish the names, job titles and salary bands of all connected parties employed by MPs on our publication website, at the following address: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/AnnualisedData.aspx.

  • I have searched your website and cannot find any reference to roles for each of the MP's staff as decided by IPSA. Please provide copies of the same.

Job titles, pay ranges and key responsibilities for staff employed by MPs and paid by IPSA under the Scheme can be found on our website at the following address: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/Job%20Description/Documents/MP%20staff%20JDs%20spreadsheet%2015%20-%2016.pdf.

Job descriptions can be produced by MPs on our website at the following address: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/Job%20Description.

  • Who sets the salaries for MP's staff and on what basis are pay increases awarded?  
  • When pay increases are awarded, are they applicable to all members of staff in the same role?

For each job role, IPSA sets salary ranges (dependent upon whether the employee is based in London or outside London). It is then the responsibility of the MP to set the precise salary within the range. The MP, as the employer, can award a pay increase at any point of their choosing as long as there is enough money remaining in the MP’s staffing budget. It is the responsibility of the MP to set the specific salaries of individual staff members.

  • Please provide information as to which government department are responsible for each of the following public expenses relating to MP's:
    • Ministers pay
    • Ministers expenses
    • Ministers pension contributions
    • All other costs associated with ministers in the execution of their duties
    • All expenses associated with members of the House of Lords

Costs relating to the House of Lords are administered by the House of Lords. You can find out about how to obtain information from the Lords at the following address: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/lords/freedom-of-information-in-the-house-of-lords/lords-foi-how-to-obtain-information/.

Costs relating to Government Ministers are administered by the Cabinet Office. Their FOI team can be contacted at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/contact/foi.