15 Feburary 2019

UCAC has responded to the consolation by Westminster on funding the increases to teachers’ pensions employer contributions

Once again Wales has been forgotten as the consolation is exclusive to England even though the responsibility for teachers’ pensions have not been devolved.

In our response we noted the following:

UCAC strongly asserts that Welsh Government should also receive appropriate funding to fund the increased employer contributions to teachers’ pensions. The consultation document states that the document is ‘about institutions in England only’ but it is important to remind ourselves that teachers’ pensions is not an element of a teachers’ conditions of service that has been devolved. To be clear: teachers’ pensions are a reserved matter.

There is a danger here of the Department making the same mistake that it made in its announcement on 24 July 20181, by failing to take into account the distribution of matters that are reserved in the field of education as opposed to those that are devolved, thereby neglecting to give consideration to schools and other educational institutions in Wales.

That decision was subsequently reversed by an announcement by the Secretary of State for Wales on 13 September2. In that statement, the Secretary of State emphasised “the UK Government’s commitment to the fair application of the rules underpinning the Welsh Government’s funding”.

Given that the governance of teachers’ pensions is not a devolved matter it is clearly the Treasury’s responsibility to ensure that Welsh Government receives appropriate funding to fund the increased employer contributions to teachers’ pensions. This is fundamental to ensuring that education institutions in Wales are treated in an equitable manner to education institutions in England.

We will work relentlessly to ensure that teachers, leaders and lecturers in Wales who are members of Teacher’s Pensions are treated fairly and that there will be a financial settlement which ensures that appropriate funding will be allocated to Wales.