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Consultation on the Fair Deal policy: Treatment of pensions on compulsory transfer of staff from the public sector

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kevin's picture
Joined: 09/03/2009

Consultation on the Fair Deal policy in response to a recommendation made in the interim report of the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission



The Government announced at Spending Review its intention to consult on the Fair Deal policy in response to a recommendation made in the interim report of the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission<. The Commission found that the Fair Deal policy, coupled with current public service pension structures, creates a barrier to the plurality of public service provision.     

The Fair Deal policy requires provision of broadly comparable pensions where staff are compulsorily transferred from the public sector to a new non-public sector employer as set out in the documents at the bottom of this page.

The Fair Deal policy applies where a public service is outsourced to be delivered by an independent provider, including private sector businesses and non-profit making organisations such as charitable bodies and social enterprises. It requires that the new employer provides a broadly comparable pension scheme for the transferred staff and bulk transfer arrangements for those staff who wish to transfer their public service pension benefits.

The consultation document sets out details of the Fair Deal policy, objectives and a range of options for future policy and subsequent transfers. It seeks views on:

  • whether there are other groups not identified who are affected by the consultation
  • how the Fair Deal policy operates currently and whether this is relevant to future policy
  • whether there are any other objectives that should be considered other than those identified in the consultation
  • if there is a case for changing the current Fair Deal policy and if so what pension requirements should be
  • proposals for future policy
  • what approach should be taken for subsequent transfers of staff when previously transferred public services are re-tendered and for employees returning to the public sector having been transferred out in the past under the Fair Deal policy.

This consultation is aimed at public service unions, independent providers of public services (including private sector businesses and non-profit making organisations such as charitable bodies and social enterprises), representatives of public service pension scheme members, representative bodies for independent providers, academics, commentators on pensions and social policy, those individuals who consider that they may be affected by a review of the Fair Deal policy and any other interested parties.


The consultation and related documents are available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website.< For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.<


Contact us<


Consultation on the Fair Deal policy

Workforce, Pay and Pensions Team<
HM Treasury<
1 Horse Guards Road<
kevin's picture
Joined: 09/03/2009

Danny Alexander< (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)

The Independent Public Service Pensions Commission interim report, led by Lord Hutton< of Furness, recommended that the Government undertake a review of the fair deal policy. The Government confirmed their plans to take forward this recommendation at the spending review and have today launched a public consultation.

The Government welcome contributions from all interested groups.

The consultation document has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and can be found on the HM Treasury< website at: _policy_publicsector.htm<

and will close on 15 June 2011.<

kevin's picture
Joined: 09/03/2009

Will Hutton proposes new settlement for public sector leadership

Will Hutton today (Tuesday 15 March 2011) published the Final Report and recommendations of the Fair Pay Review, setting out the terms of a new settlement for public service leadership. Senior public servants' pay will be directly linked to their performance and will be subject to much greater public scrutiny. In return, public service leaders will be in a better position to explain their roles and responsibilities, and defend the ethos of public service that motivates them.

Key Recommendations:

* Will Hutton recommends that senior public servants' pay should be more strongly linked to their performance through a system of 'earn back' pay. Under this system, executives will have an element of their basic pay 'at risk', to be earned back each year through meeting pre-agreed objectives. This will allow pay to vary down as well as up with performance, and ensure that public services do not offer rewards for failure.

* There should be significant improvements in transparency over senior pay - all executives' full pay should be disclosed, along with an explanation of how it relates to job weight and performance and made available online.

* The multiple of chief executive to workforce median pay should be published each year, and any changes explained.

* The Government should not benchmark senior public servants' pay against that of the Prime Minister, and should not impose a fixed limit on pay multiples (such as 20 to 1). This will allow a more informed and rational public debate on senior pay in public services. Citizens need to understand public service executive pay in the context of job responsibilities. To support this informed debate, the Senior Salaries Review Body should publish Fair Pay Reports each year, detailing pay multiples across public services.

* To make tracking pay multiples normal practice across the economy, Will Hutton recommends that Public Limited Companies (PLCS) should also be required to track and publish their pay multiples - and the Government should consider commissioning annual Fair Pay Reports on PLCs as well as public service organisations.

Publishing the Fair Pay Review Final Report and recommendations, Will Hutton said:

"High quality public services are essential to our society and economy and high quality public services require high calibre leaders to deliver them, especially in difficult fiscal conditions. How we pay our public service leaders will have a crucial influence on the sort of public services this country will get. It is essential that senior public servants are adequately rewarded for their contributions, and that the public service ethos - that sense of mission and public duty that motivates many to work in public services - is preserved and respected. But public trust in public services can only be maintained if senior public servants' pay is fair and seen to be fair."

Will Hutton continued:

"In this Final Report, I am therefore presenting a series of recommendations for a new deal on public service leadership, in which senior public servants' pay is set to reflect their due desert. No pay system can be fair if it fails to reflect individual performance: so I am recommending that all public service executives are required to place an element of their basic pay at risk, to be earned back each year through good performance. So that pay is seen to be fair, I am recommending a huge advance in transparency and public accountability. Organisations delivering public services should publish their pay multiples each year, and disclose and explain executive pay and how it relates to job responsibilities and individual performance. This information should then be brought together in annual Fair Pay Reports from the Senior Salaries Review Body. This will allow an informed public debate on senior pay: citizens will be able to hold organisations to account on how senior pay reflects individuals' due desert.

"The principles of fairness are not exclusive to public services. Citizens are rightly concerned about wider inequalities in society, and question whether the pay of the highest earners is deserved. Discussing top pay in the language of due desert, and by reference to the pay of ordinary employees should be the norm across the whole economy: that is why I am recommending that PLCs should also be required to publish their pay multiples each year, to allow citizens and shareholders to hold them to account."

Fair Pay Review Final Report: Summary of Recommendations

1 Using pay multiples to track executive pay against that of all employees

The Government should not cap pay across public services, but should require that from 2011-12 all public service organisations publish their top to median pay multiples each year to allow the public to hold them to account.

2 Informing the public debate through annual Fair Pay Reports
To support citizen accountability, the Government should commission the Senior Salaries Review Body to publish annual Fair Pay Reports, starting from 2011-12. These reports should set out trends in pay multiples across public services, highlight year-on-year changes and identify organisations that fail to produce meaningful, specific and verifiable explanations for their pay multiples and for changes.

3 Re-calibrating the pay of Non-Departmental Public Body chief executives

To address particular concerns that the pay of Non-Departmental Public Body chief executives has become detached from the responsibilities of their roles, the Government should by December 2011 establish a series of pay benchmarks for NDPB chief executives, following advice from the Senior Salaries Review Body.

4 From disclosure to explanation: ensuring complete transparency over executive roles and remuneration
To enable citizens to understand executive remuneration and the nature of executive responsibilities, from 2011-12 the Government should require that all organisations delivering public services disclose in precise numbers the full remuneration of all executives, alongside an explanation of the responsibilities of each role and of how executives' pay reflects individual performance.

5 Enabling citizen analysis of executive pay
From 2011-12, the Government should require public organisations to submit executive pay data through an online template, and make this data available on, to allow citizens to access and analyse this data and thus have the information required to hold public service organisations to account.

6 Abandoning arbitrary benchmarks for public service pay
Once this framework of recommendations is in place, the Government should refrain from using the pay of the Prime Minister or other politicians as a benchmark for the remuneration of senior public servants, whose pay should reflect their due desert and be proportional to the weight of their roles and their performance.

7 Preventing rewards for failure through earn-back pay for senior public servants
To allow pay to vary down as well as up with performance, all public service executives should have an element of their basic pay that needs to be earned back each year through meeting pre-agreed objectives.
The Government should by July 2011 bring forward proposals for Senior Civil Service pay to include an element of base pay at risk, and should encourage the application of earn-back pay to other organisations delivering public services. This earn-back should be conditional upon meeting pre-agreed objectives; excellent performers who go beyond their objectives should be eligible for additional pay.

8 Extending earn-back pay to high performing middle managers
To identify and reward high fliers, once earn-back pay has been implemented at the most senior levels, Government departments and other public service organisations should consider offering this pay structure to middle managers on an opt-in basis.

9 Sharing the rewards of greater productivity
To prevent executives monopolising the rewards of productivity increases, and allow all employees who have contributed to share the benefits, government departments should identify ways of offering gainsharing schemes linked to achievement of the efficiency aspects of their business plans. The Government should also explore options for gainsharing schemes across public services more widely.

10 Opening up opportunities for future generations of public service leaders
To increase the supply of candidates for top positions and reinforce public service management as a career, the Government should facilitate greater opportunities for managers to move across different public services. By the end of 2011 the Government should establish a single online portal for advertisements and applications for public service management roles, and work with major public service employers to establish a passport scheme for middle and senior managers across public services. It should also drive and prioritise ongoing collaboration between public sector graduate recruitment and development programmes.

11 A Fair Pay Code
To embed fairness principles and ensure fair process in executive remuneration, all public service organisations should adopt the Fair Pay Code proposed by this Review. Government departments should by July 2011 bring forward proposals for the application of this Code to all bodies and sectors in which they have an interest.
12 Tracking pay multiples across the economy

To make tracking pay multiples normal practice across the economy, as part of its commitment to improve corporate reporting, the Government should require listed companies to publish top to median pay multiples in their annual reporting from January 2012.

Notes for editors

1. Will Hutton was commissioned by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in May 2010 to lead a review of fair pay in the public sector. He has been asked to make recommendations by March 2011 on promoting pay fairness, by tackling disparities between the lowest and the highest paid in public sector organisations.

2. He published his interim report on 1 December 2010:<


also refer<