LGPS staff positive about working for scheme but regulatory burden and resourcing remain a challenge
27 July 2023
While the vast majority of employees are positive about their experience working within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), a survey conducted by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) shows they have concerns about resourcing, the overlapping of various governing organisations and the burden of regulatory initiatives.
The LGPS is the largest funded defined benefit (DB) pension scheme in the UK, and one of the biggest in the world. Recent figures show that it has 7.1 million members, over 15,500 employers, and assets of over £425 billion.
In July 2022, the PLSA published a report, ‘The Local Government Pension Scheme: Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Opportunities’, which identified areas where existing good practice can be fortified and where action can be taken to address the ever-increasing regulatory and environmental challenges facing the scheme.
At the time of the report launch, the PLSA undertook a survey of its LGPS members to capture and assess the issues that significantly impact local authority pension funds.
The 2023 edition of the survey, conducted in May, included responses from 92 LGPS representatives. It includes important findings in areas including key stakeholders, resources, employers and members, working environment and views for the future.
The survey results show the vast majority of respondents (85%) remain positive about working within the scheme. However, concerns about resourcing persist – with a quarter not feeling they have the right staff in place (23%).
When questioned about the topics government and regulators should be focusing on, three-quarters identified good governance as a priority. Responsible investment and stewardship, alongside Pensions Dashboards, are also high on the priority list, while only 18 per cent feel they should focus on pooling.
Most continue to believe that the main legislation or regulatory requirements that govern their work are overlapping between different organisations/regulators (66%), with a similar proportion finding it causes them confusion (63%).
More than half (54%) now feel that the legislation/regulatory requirements are too complex to execute (up 6% from 48% since 2021), while two in five continue to feel legislation/regulatory requirements are hindering them from doing their job effectively (43%).
When asked to choose from a range of suggestions on what LGPS representatives would like to see change in the scheme, simpler and clearer regulations was the top choice.
The full survey results are available here.
Tiffany Tsang, Head of DB, LGPS and Investment at the PLSA, said: “As the largest funded defined benefit pension scheme in the UK, the LGPS is in good financial health and employees report having a positive experience of working within it.
“However, a swathe of regulatory initiatives in recent years mean the LGPS is increasingly being asked to do more with its limited resources, with our surveys showing LGPS funds find it particularly challenging to recruit.
“The PLSA is committed to engaging with Government and key stakeholders to draw attention to these findings and the challenges being felt within the LGPS.”
Mark Smith, Head of Media Relations
020 7601 1726 | [email protected]
Cali Sullivan, PR Manager
020 7601 1761 | [email protected]