Wanted: Minister with sole responsibility for infrastructure, says NAPF 2014 Manifesto
16 October 2014
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) today (Thursday) released its pre-election Manifesto, ‘Pension Possibilities: making the right choices for the long term’ at the NAPF Annual Conference 2014.
The Manifesto recommends ‘the Government should undertake a package of measures to unlock large-scale investment in national infrastructure, headed by a Minister with specific responsibility for infrastructure’.
The document recognises there has been an improvement in infrastructure planning in the last two years, but more needs to be done to make infrastructure investment attractive and cost-efficient for long-term investors, such as pension funds, including:
Reform to ensure that the VAT treatment of infrastructure investment vehicles encourages, rather than penalises, the new investment structures that provide pension funds with access to investing in infrastructure; and,
Providing a secure, steady pipeline of suitable assets with appropriate structures and investment characteristics.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF, commented:
“Infrastructure encompasses a wide range of assets with varying investment profiles. What pension funds seek in infrastructure is an investment that can match their liabilities with low-risk, long-term, inflation-linked cash returns – effectively an alternative to gilts, of which there is a shortage. But as we’ve seen from recent announcements, such as the Government’s plan to sell its stake in Eurostar, this is not always the infrastructure investment on offer – which is why our manifesto calls for a steady pipeline of suitable assets.
“Historically, even where suitable infrastructure assets have been available, it has been difficult for pension funds to invest. The NAPF has worked to address this with the Pensions Infrastructure Platform, or PIP, but the Government must do its part.
“Our manifesto calls on the Government to open the door to large-scale pension fund investment in the UK’s infrastructure. And because it is so important, not just to pension schemes but also to the real economy, we want a Minister with specific and sole responsibility for infrastructure to be appointed, who can ensure that Government infrastructure projects include assets that are appropriate for pension fund investors who are waiting to invest.”
Download the NAPF’s Manifesto, Pension Possibilities
Notes to editors:
The NAPF is the voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for over 1,300 pension schemes that provide pensions for over 17 million people and have more than £900 billion of assets. We also have 400 members from businesses supporting the pensions sector.
We aim to help everyone get more out of their retirement savings. To do this we spread best practice among our members, challenge regulation where it adds more cost than benefit and promote policies that add value for savers.
Lucy Grubb, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1726 or 07713 073023, [email protected]
Eleanor Bennett, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]