British Politics Facts and FiguresParliament

RESEARCH DOCUMENT : MPs’ Pensions Scheme

The research document issued by the House of Commons Library on 29 May 2024.

Document (in .pdf format)


This is a research briefing from the UK Parliament’s Commons Library about the MPs’ Pension Scheme. It provides an overview of the scheme’s features, its development, and the impact of the McCloud judgment on age discrimination in public service pensions.

Key points include:

  • Features of the scheme: The MPs’ Pension Scheme is a defined benefit scheme administered by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). It has two sections: the final salary section and the career average section introduced in 2015. The scheme is funded, meaning that both MPs and the Treasury make contributions into a fund that is invested and used to pay the promised pensions.
  • Development of the scheme: The scheme was established under the Parliamentary and Other Pensions Act 1987 and has undergone several reforms over the years. In 2015, it was reformed alongside the main public service pension schemes, with pensions being based on an MP’s average salary over their career instead of their final salary.
  • McCloud judgment and the MPs’ Pension Scheme: The McCloud judgment, which found that the government had discriminated against younger members of other public service pension schemes, led to changes in the MPs’ Pension Scheme as well. These changes allowed all members to choose whether the benefits they accrued during the transitional protection period should be based on their final salary or their average salary.

The briefing also details the governance of the scheme, the roles and responsibilities of IPSA and the scheme’s Trustees, and the funding mechanism. It concludes with a brief overview of the scheme’s development, including the transfer of responsibility to IPSA in 2011 and the review of public service pensions that led to significant reforms.