PLSA publishes new guide and resources for the Local Government Pension Scheme and participating employers
27 June 2023
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published a new guide for employers participating in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), and an additional resource to help LGPS professionals and external stakeholders understand the sector’s regulatory complexity.
The release of the new resources coincides with the PLSA’s annual Local Authority Conference, the largest event of its kind dedicated to the LGPS, in Gloucestershire.
Best practice for LGPS employers
‘Best Practice: A Guide for Employers Participating in the LGPS,’ has been launched to coincide with the PLSA’s annual Local Authority Conference, which is taking place this week in Gloucestershire.
Through a combination of public sector reforms that led to the outsourcing of local authority services, LGPS employers’ understanding of how the scheme operates and of their responsibilities within it, have become somewhat disjointed in recent years.
The guide seeks to counter this and addresses recommendations in the PLSA’s 2022 report, ‘The LGPS: Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Opportunities,’ for funds to be proactive in providing information and assistance to existing and prospective employers, and to communicate the benefits of staying within the LGPS.
The guide includes chapters dedicated to engaging with administering authorities, how to manage data, as well as practical information about actuarial valuations, risk management, internal dispute resolution procedures (IDRPs) and automatic enrolment.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (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 totalling over £425 billion.
However, there is currently no regulatory entity with responsibility for the whole
of the LGPS, and many arms of government and regulatory bodies have a say in how the LGPS is run.
In a recent PLSA survey of LGPS professionals, two-thirds said they believe the main legislative or regulatory requirements that govern their work are overlapping between different organisations/regulators (66%), with a similar proportion saying this causes them confusion (63%).
Fulfilling another recommendation of last year’s report, the PLSA is today publishing a strategic ‘regulatory map’ to help external stakeholders understand and navigate the complexities in which the LGPS operates.
The map is aimed at helping ensure the existing framework works in a more joined-up and coherent way; and that it helps highlight why an examination of the benefits of a more centralised approach, which could involve creating a new oversight body or giving an existing body greater powers, would be helpful.
The map is divided into three sections, according to the geographic distribution of the LGPS – England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and also contains a heat map of some of the most pertinent issues funds are facing, matching these topics with the entities responsible for these areas, showcasing the complexity of the development of consistent, coherent and clear LGPS policy and regulation.
This map also aims to help ensure that the LGPS voice is represented and weighted accordingly in central government decisions, which affects the sustainability of the LGPS and its day-to-day running directly.
Communicating with savers & talent management
The employer guide and regulatory map build on a growing body of work the PLSA is conducting in response to its original recommendations from the 2022 research report. Over the year, two deep-dive webinars were held – one with the Money and Pensions Service on cost-of-living and the other with ‘case studies’ from funds sharing how they have successfully attracted and retained younger talent. Our conference programme this year also continues to develop these key issues from the research report - of savers and of talent management, as well as of operational sustainability.
Tiffany Tsang, Head of DB, Investment and the LGPS at the PLSA said: “For more than a decade, the LGPS has undergone continuous, rapid change. Against a backdrop of the economic uncertainty, austerity and pay freezes for local authorities – and, more recently, the global pandemic – it has had to contend with a rolling series of reforms that add to its administrative burden.
“The LGPS is well funded and one of the largest pension provisions of its type in the world. The guide we are publishing today will help LGPS employers establish best practice and to better understand the value their employees get from being a member.
“The regulatory map is designed to help external stakeholders understand the complexity of the overlapping bodies that have influence in the LGPS universe, and hopefully start a conversation on how entities could work together in a more joined up way.”
Mark Smith, Head of Media Relations
020 7601 1726 | [email protected]
Cali Sullivan, PR Manager
020 7601 1761 | [email protected]