The UK’s leading pensions body commented on a speech today by Brandon Lewis, Minister for Local Government, in which he announced that the Government would look at restructuring local authority pension funds.
Mr Lewis spoke at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Local Authority Conference, held in Gloucestershire, and said the Government would consult on the principles of reform later this year.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF, which represents 72 funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), said:
“Local authority pension funds have never been under more pressure. A new scheme to be introduced next year, auto-enrolment, and the abolition of contracting out will all have huge implications for the way they are run.
“Local authority funds will have to place an even greater focus on finding efficiencies and maximising value for money. This is already happening and we have seen some good examples of collaboration, but we should ask if more can be done.
“The minister is right to open a wider debate on what funds can be doing, and to do so with an open mind and a clear call for evidence. We look forward to discussing this with our members and the Government.
“Clear and comparable data is needed to inform the debate, and a single annual report about the LGPS will help. Also, we are pleased to see the minister recognise the need for more radical reform of the LGPS investment regulations, as the NAPF has been calling for.”
At its annual Local Authority Conference, which opened today, the NAPF launched a report on the LGPS, which explores the pressures on the scheme and its investment strategies.
The report calls for the Government to facilitate an open debate on the case for local authority schemes to work together to drive efficiency. It also asks for an overhaul of LGPS investment regulations so that funds looking to diversify are not unduly restricted.
Notes to editors:
1. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
2. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]
Aimee Savage Richards, Press Officer (interim), 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]