Personal injury discount rate (PIDR)
As you may be aware, under the Damages Act 1996, the Government Actuary is to begin reviews of the personal injury discount rates (PIDR) for Northern Ireland and Scotland on 1 July 2024.
The PIDR is an adjustment of an award of damages to reflect the fact that the injured person is able to invest the money before the loss or expense for which it awarded has actually occurred. That investment will generate a return and the PIDR aims to take that into account so as to avoid over- or under-compensation. The current rate in Scotland is -0.75% and was set in September 2019.
The method for calculating the PIDR is set out for Scotland in Schedule B1 and for Northern Ireland in Schedule C1 of the Damages Act 1996. The framework is designed to create a fair and accurate way to set the discount rate, taking account of a range of factors.
The range of factors to be taken into account when calculating the PIDR in Scotland includes:
- the makeup of the notional portfolio (as laid out in paragraph 12 of Schedule B1 in the Act)
- the assumed period of investment (currently 30 years)
- the impact of inflation (currently allowed for by reference to the Retail Prices Index); and
- the standard adjustments that must be made by the rate-assessor to a rate of return (currently set at 0.75% which represents the impact of taxation and the costs of investment advice and management; and 0.5% which is the further margin involved in relation to the rate of return)
Scottish Ministers may, by regulations, adjust these factors. We now intend to consider whether or not any such adjustments are merited. We would therefore welcome your views on the need or otherwise to adjust any of these factors and request any evidence that you can provide to support these views.
In addition, to these factors we would welcome your views/evidence on whether a single or multiple rates should apply (see paragraphs 21 and 22 of Schedule B1 of the Act). If there were to be a multiple rates, we would also welcome your views on a preferred model.
We ask that any response is received by 11 July 2023 and look forward to hearing from you.
This request for views is being undertaken jointly by the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Government. Please be aware that your responses may be shared so that they can be considered by both administrations for their respective purposes.
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