The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) has issued an announcement about the LGPS and broad comparability.

Consultation is currently underway on amendments to LGPS benefits and contributions in England and Wales which are due to take effect in April 2014. GAD assessments of broad comparability are made on the basis of the LGPS regulations as currently in force. Once the new regulations are “on the statute books” in spring 2013 then broad comparability will be assessed on the new basis and existing certificates will cease to be valid. We assume that GAD’s reference to “on the statute books” means the date on which the new regulations are laid.

New certificates

GAD will no longer accept applications for certificates other than where the applicant can justify a short-term need (e.g. where all transfers are planned before the regulations are laid). However, the certificate will be based on existing regulations and will cease to be valid if the transfer fails to happen before the new regulations are laid.

GAD will not accept applications for certificates based on the new regulations until they are sufficiently firm for an assessment to be carried out – this may not be until they are laid. There may be a delay of several months from when the new regulations are laid before GAD is able to provide certificates based on the new regulations.

Existing certificates of broad comparability

Existing certificates will not be invalidated provided the transfer of staff occurs before the new regulations are laid. They will become invalid once the new regulations are laid for any transfer of staff which occurs on or after that date.

GAD will issue an announcement nearer the time when existing certificates become invalid and are withdrawn, at which time relevant passport numbers will be removed from the GAD website.

Applications currently in progress

Applicants should decide whether or not to proceed, depending on the proposed date of the transfer (see above). Where applications are discontinued, applicants will be liable for fees incurred.