EUROPE - The European Parliament (EP) Budgetary Committee has voted against a bailout of the troubled pension scheme for members of the EP (MEP).
It also said the Additional Voluntary Pension Scheme for MEPs had an actuarial deficit of €30.92m (US$40.35m) at the end of 2007, but it is understood the deficit has increased since then. Recent media reports have placed the figure at closer to €100m.
It is unclear how many MEPs participate in the scheme. In a separate resolution drafted by Portuguese MEP Paolo Casaca, the Commitee called on Parliament's Bureau to publish a list of members of this pension scheme.
Meanwhile, during next week's EP session in Strasbourg on the parliament's budget point, the EP will discuss a potential vote which would increase the taxpayer bill to shore up the underfunded position of the plan.
UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies - who is a beneficiary of the scheme and opposes the bailout - said: "Our constituents are being told by their own pension funds to expect a lot less than they had once been promised."
"MEPs must take the same kind of hit as the people we represent. It would be shameful to allow the use of public money to fill the hole created by the recession," he said.
A spokesperson for Davies said there was no clarity at the moment on whether the budget's vote would include any item on the scheme.
MEPs already benefit from a national pension, normally set at the same level as their national peers.
The voluntary pension fund for MEPs is a fully invested scheme based in Luxembourg and is chaired by Richard Balfe, former UK MEP.
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