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Judge fudge over pension limit

Judges’ lucrative retirement packages have been secured after the Lord Chancellor confirmed that members of the bench will not face the 1.5m lifetime limit after A-Day.

In what has widely been seen as a fudge, the judicial pension scheme will be classed as unregistered from April 6, 2007 so they will avoid the lifetime limit and potential 55 per cent recovery tax.

Although this means that judges will lose tax relief on contributions to their pensions, a long service award based on years served is being introduced that will maintain but not inc-rease their existing net retirement remuneration packages.

A statement from the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer of Thoroton and the Department of Constitutional Affairs says the proposals will not require legislation so the controver- sial Judicial Pensions Bill has been dropped.

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says scrapping the bill will deflect attention away from the issue but the imbalance between public and private sector pensions is growing.

He says: “There is one law for some and another law for others. It just goes to show what power and influence can do for you. It is a classic example of the Government winding up the general public, particularly as there is a total deficit for final- salary pension plans of FTSE 100 companies at 75bn.”

Winterthur Life pensions strategy manager Mike Morrison says: “There are obviously good and bad points about this. Certainly, it is good for the judges.”

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