The Government’s decision to exclude the Mayor and all 25 members of the London Assembly from the local government pension scheme is to cost Londoners at least £14,000 in consultancy fees.
The role of Mayor and Assembly Member are full-time, salaried posts and the office holders are entitled to have access to a pension scheme under the 1999 Greater London Authority Act.
However, in 2014, ministers banned future mayors and AMs from joining the local government scheme as part of a clampdown originally aimed at stopping unpaid councillors benefiting from a taxpayer funded pension.
Ministers said that pension schemes and other allowances had “slowly become a form of salary” for councillors.
Although they acknowledged the Mayor and AMs “are in a different position by being paid a salary”, ministers said “as a matter of principle” the scheme should only be open to paid local government staff, not politicians.
The move has forced the Greater London Authority to hire in consultants to advise on alternative pensions arrangements for the incoming Mayor and Assembly.
Concerns have been expressed by some City Hall politicians that the runnings costs of any private scheme bought-in to replace the local government pension could end up costing Londoners more.