UK - The UK's Conservative Party has suggested MPs should close their final salary scheme to new members in an attempt to help avoid a future "pensions apartheid".

Conservative leader David Cameron highlighted six recommendations from the latest paper by the party's Democracy Taskforce, led by Ken Clarke MP, which focused on restoring trust in politics.

The report, published today, recommended changes to the way MPs are paid which include stopping politicians being able to vote on their own pay increases, and closing the existing final salary scheme to new members.

Cameron said it was a "very good paper with some sensible suggestions" and he admitted he was "very attracted by almost all of the findings", including a "very interesting recommendation" to close the MP's own pension scheme to new entrants - a move which Cameron described as "an important and timely proposal".

He added: " I think that if MPs want to look other state sector employees in the eye, and say we really do need to look at and reform pension arrangements to make them affordable, we have to look at our own arrangements and recognise that a very generous final salary scheme going into the future is not appropriate."

Cameron claimed it is "now time to close the scheme to new entrants, without disadvantaging current MPs" and said the proposal would lead to a new defined contribution scheme being put in place for new entrants, where employer and employee contribution levels would be set by an independent review body.

"The proposal is a reasonable one, and one I think we should take on, and if we were in government one which we would put in place. We don't have to write our manifesto today, but I think I've made it pretty clear," he added.

In addition, he said the change would help address the "deeper issue" of the growing divide between public and private sector pension schemes, and argued "that kind of pensions apartheid" should not be allowed to grow up in Britain.

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