Future Mayors and London Assembly members will be barred from joining the local government pension scheme under reforms announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Last year ministers announced plans to review pensions for unpaid local councillors, saying that access to pension schemes and other allowances “have slowly become a form of salary”.
They later decided to include salaried council leaders, cabinet members, as well as the Mayor of London and Assembly Members in the review.
Following a public consultation, ministers say they’ll close the scheme to all newly elected politicians from April 2014 and that existing members will lose access at the end of their current term.
Although they acknowledge the Mayor and AMs “are in a different position by being paid a salary”, ministers say “as a matter of principle” the scheme should only be open to paid employees.
However the move may not achieve the Department’s stated aim of reducing the cost to taxpayers.
Under the 1999 Greater London Authority Act, City Hall’s politicians are entitled to a pension to which the Authority can make contributions.
The department’s press office was unable to say whether ministers plan to amend the act, leaving open the possibility of the Authority buying pension schemes from the private sector.