Pensions – Local Government Pension Scheme LGPS

Pension Committee Update Notes as at 1st July 2016

Quieter less radical meetings this year, because now that the decision and submission to Government have been made about future pension investment collaboration, the difficult decisions have been completed. The main work is now deciding how to go forward with the collaboration; this now forms part of the normal day-to-day work of the Committee. The collaboration of the ten funds is known by the administering authorities as ‘Project Brunel’, so if you hear talk about ‘Project Brunel’ you now know what it is!

Pool Funds (Project Brunel). A joint submission from all ten administering authorities (Avon; Buckinghamshire; Cornwall; Dorset; Devon; Environment Agency Pension Fund; Gloucestershire; Oxfordshire; Somerset; and Wiltshire) to form the ‘Brunel Pension Partnership’ has been submitted to the Government and a response is awaited.

The size of the pool, once it is fully operational, will be in the region of £23 billion. However, it will be a few years before all the administering authorities can release their control of funds to the pool. This is due to the long term strategies employed by all of the authorities.

Future Decisions. There is a long list of work that now needs to be undertaken. For instance; where will the new headquarters of the fund be located? How will the governance and the legal structure of the fund be applied?  What is the tax and legal position of the fund? How will it be decided as to which authority ‘owns’ the investments or portions of the investments? Will the pool employ internal investment management? Communications to stakeholders – who will be responsible?

New Pensions Board. Alistair Bastin, UNISON Oxfordshire Branch Chairman and a member of the Pensions Board is keen to keep in contact with members of the scheme and would be pleased to ask and frame questions on member’s behalf. Please get in touch with Alistair if you have any questions.

There is a vacancy on the Board and if you are interested, please contact the UNISON office.

LGPS members are more than welcome to contact their Board to discuss pension matters, and if Unison members please contact the UNISON office in the first instance.’

Pension Statements. New pension statements are about to be issued and with the extra staff employed in administering the fund, all members should expect to receive their statement by the legal deadline of 31 August 2016. Also, you should receive a statement for each post that you hold with your employer.

Self Service. The ability to log in to your pension account has yet to happen but, there will be a big push to get this up and running from September.

Philip Wilde

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