News

31st May 2017 The PwC report “Options for Academies in the LGPS” commissioned by the Board is published today.  Publication of the report will enable the Board to engage with key stakeholders including pension funds, actuarial firms and academy trusts as appropriate on the issues raised by those interviewed by PwC.

The Board will continue to gather relevant evidence and then develop specific proposals for change before submitting its recommendations to Ministers for their consideration.

24th May 2017 The Advisory Board has issued a Press Release following the response to the launch of its Code of Transparency.
18th May 2017 Following its announcement at the PLSA's Local Authority conference, the Board has launched its Code of Transparency. Details are available here
18th May 2017 A copy of Cllr Phillips' presentation slides from the PLSA's Local Authority conference, is available for download here
12th May 2017 Councillor Roger Phillips, Chair of the Scheme Advisory Board, is due to present a major update on the Board's work programme at the PLSA's Local Authority conference on the 16th May. Publication of the 2016 LGPS Annual Report will be launched to coincide with the conference where Councillor Phillips will offer a detailed insight of the main findings. In addition to summarising the future work of the Board, Councillor Phillips will also cover the results of the 2016 valuation and update conference members on MIFID II. A copy of the presentation will be posted here at the end of the conference.
In addition, the Board will announce the launch of its Code of Transparency. The Board has developed a voluntary Code for LGPS asset managers to assist pension funds in obtaining the data they require in order to achieve transparency of investment costs.
Following its work on academies, the Deficits working group is beginning a project on Tier 3 employers. This stream of work will be conducted in two concurrent phases; 1) The Board will be working with LGPS administering authorities to gather data regarding the number, membership, liabilities and covenants of these employers; and 2) Separately the Board is inviting proposals from interested parties to assist it in further analysis in this area.
4th April 2017

"In conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education, the Local Government Association has today published “Local Government Pension Scheme – arrangements for academies”"

4th April 2017 LGPS academies Update - On the 29th March, Councillor Roger Phillips, Chair of the Board, met with the local government Minister, Marcus Jones, and Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the school system to discuss the findings of the PwC report and agree next steps. Councillor Phillips set out the three mechanisms for change highlighted in the report including non-regulatory measures within the LGPS; regulatory measures within the scheme and thirdly, measures outside of the LGPS including through primary legislation.
Ministers were supportive of the Board’s conclusion that nothing would be gained without some degree of change. Ministers agreed that the immediate focus should be to explore the scope for resolving the identified issues within the LGPS, either by way of general guidance, statutory guidance or, where necessary, through changes to the scheme’s regulatory framework. Although agreeing to focus on solutions within the scheme at this stage, Ministers were also clear that should these not prove effective, more radical measures outside of the LGPS would not be completely ruled out.
Next steps – Ministers agreed that DfE, DCLG, GAD and the Board should continue to work closely together to pursue solutions, engaging key stakeholders including pension funds, actuarial firms and academy trusts as appropriate. The next stage will be to gather relevant evidence and develop specific proposals for change that the Board will consider before submitting its recommendations to Ministers for their consideration.
23rd March 2017

Board Statement on Pool Governace Following the meeting of the Board on 6th March 2017, the following statement was agreed:

"The Board recognises that it is for scheme managers within each pool to develop appropriate governance to assure all stakeholders of the transparent and effective implementation of strategy. In this respect the Board notes the comments made by the Local Government minister Marcus Jones MP on this matter in the Westminster Hall debate on 24th October 2016.
The board recognises that strategic decisions on asset allocations and responsible investment will remain at the local level and therefore the involvement via local pension boards of those employers beyond the scheme manager along with member representatives in those areas would continue.
However the Board also encourages scheme managers to involve those same employers and member representatives in assisting with the assurance of transparent reporting from pools and ensuring the effective implementation of strategies by pools. Such involvement should include the consideration of provision of direct representation on oversight structures.”

14th March 2017

LGPS Academies At the meeting of the Scheme Advisory Board on 6th March 2017, PwC presented the draft report “Options for Academies in the LGPS”. The report was commissioned by the Board to review current issues faced by the LGPS and associated stakeholders in relation to academies participating in LGPS funds in England. The Board is anxious to point out that the draft report makes no attempt to make any recommendations. Instead, it outlines a number of issues raised by stakeholders and how they envisage these concerns being resolved.
Although, in principle, the Board accepted the draft report’s findings, it was agreed that no statement should be made ahead of discussions with DfE and DCLG about PwC’s findings and next steps. The Board is hopeful that such a meeting will be possible later in March to be followed as soon as possible by a formal statement from the Board regarding publication and next steps.

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