Reforming Local Government Exit Pay

Also known as “The Strain On The Pension Fund” of local councils and the taxpayers who fund them!

“As part of a wider programme of cross-public sector action on exit payment terms, this consultation paper sets out the government’s proposals for reforming local government exit payment.

“We are seeking information on: • the effects that the proposals for reform will have on the regulations which currently govern exit payments (including both redundancy compensation pay and early access to pensions) in local government • the impact that the proposals for reform will have on the local government workforce

“Consultation responses will inform a full impact assessment, including equalities considerations which will be issued alongside the regulations when these are laid before Parliament”.

West Lancashire Borough Council states at March 2019 “The value of the net pension liability in the accounts has increased by £1.078m to £56.573m”.

A Freedom of Information request made included “The accounts state that “The Council terminated the contracts of 9 employees in 2017-18 in different service areas incurring liabilities of £0.588m (£0.247m in 2016-17). This consisted of 7 voluntary and 1 compulsory redundancies, and the ending of a fixed term contract. This compares to 4 voluntary redundancies and the ending of a fixed term contract in the previous year”.

“If I didn’t make it clear enough, while the Senior Officer who left, the Director of Leisure, received a large payment for loss of employment that was made public, the payments for loss of office of other officers who took voluntary redundancy are not made public. That is what I am asking for”.

So “In each case please state the precise amount of “Compensation for loss of office” paid. That is what isn’t made available to the public, for every applicant for voluntary redundancy, in the Borough accounts. To be clear, I am asking for the specific payments made for successful individual applicants for voluntary redundancy who are then paid a separate sum for loss of that employment they volunteered to leave”.

From WLBC “I can confirm that a “payment for loss of office” means a payment made to a director who has been made redundant. When a director of West Lancashire Council has been made redundant their redundancy payment shows as “compensation for loss of office” in the Statement of Accounts. They do not receive a further payment for redundancy as this is one and the same payment”.

And “Compensation for loss of office refers only to those officers listed on the statement of accounts that you have previously been directed to. Therefore can you please confirm that the information you require is about what redundancy payments were made during that period and not compensation for loss of office?”
At West Lancashire, one of the highest recorded payments was to the Director of Leisure/Wellbeing, who, while taking home a relatively modest £66,239 salary, had a total package of £337,351 that included redundancy payments for loss of office, and the pension payments entitled to on leaving, including own contributions during their career. It also included the basic salary payments of £66,239 which were correct up to the person in post leaving. He achieved fame as being in the Top Ten of the Taxpayers’ Alliance list. See 9 above!

You want an end to it all? Respond here

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