Report by the Ecclesiastical Committee
on the Church of England (Pensions Measure)
The Ecclesiastical Committee has met and considered
CHURCH OF ENGLAND (PENSIONS) MEASURE,
referred to it under the provisions of the Church
of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and has had the assistance
in deliberation of the General Synod thereon.
1. The measure contains a number of provisions
relating to the Church of England Pensions Board and to the Church
2. One of its chief purposes is to amalgamate
the three previous augmentation funds (the Clergy Pensions Augmentation
Fund, the Clergy (Widows and Dependants) Pensions Augmentation
Fund and the Church Workers Pensions Augmentation Fund) with the
General Purposes Fund. The aim of this is to give greater flexibility
to the Pensions Board in making use of the funds under its administration.
3. The Measure's other chief purpose is
to renew the provisions of the Pensions Measure 1997 which give
the Church Commissioners power to expend capital in support of
their pension liabilities. This power expires on 31 December 2004.
The effect of the present measure is to renew that power for a
further seven years.
4. Representatives of the Synod assisted
the Committee in its deliberations on the original version of
the Measure on 22 April 2002. At that meeting the Committee satisfied
itself that the current rate of capital expenditure1¾
per centwas appropriate (Q34). But the draft of the Measure
then before the Committee allowed for further renewals of the
power to expend capital to be made by statutory instrument. A
majority of the Committee felt that such renewals should not be
made by delegated legislation and that any renewals should be
made by further measures. (Indeed, the Committee observe that
further renewals are almost certain to be necessary and that if
the real return on assets falls short of actuarial expectations
the rate of expenditure of capital may increase.)
5. Subject to the removal of the provision
to allow further renewal of the power to expend capital to be
made by statutory instrument, and certain minor drafting points,
the Committee were minded to find the Measure expedient.
6. In July 2002 the Synod unanimously approved
a second version of the Measure, revised upon the lines proposed
by the Committee, and it was submitted for the Committee's consideration.
The Committee is satisfied that its concerns have been met by
the revised draft and is of the opinion that the Measure is expedient.