News

22nd November 2019 - Responsible Investment Guidance Consultation

At the meeting of the Scheme Advisory Board on the 6th November, approval was given for the first part of guidance on responsible investment to be published for consultation until the 11th January 2020. The aim of this first part of RI guidance is to assist and help investment decision makers to identify the parameters of operation within scheme regulations, statutory guidance, fiduciary duty and the general public law and the scope for integrating ESG policies as part of investment strategy statements. The Board wishes to make it clear that there is no intention to prescribe the extent to which ESG policies must be adopted as this must clearly remain a matter for local consideration and agreement in accordance with MHCLG’s statutory guidance.

The Board also agreed that work should commence on drafting part two of the guidance, the aim of which is to provide investment decision makers with a toolkit they can use to further integrate ESG policies as part of their investment strategy. As part of the consultation on part one of the guidance, consultees are therefore also invited to submit details of case studies that evidence the successful adoption of ESG policies, in particular, those focused on the risks associated with climate change. Consultees are also invited to suggest other matters that should be included in the part two guidance. The aim will be to have prepared a working draft of the part two guidance in time for it to be considered by the Board when it next meets on the 3rd February 2020.

Responsible Investment Guidance Draft Part 1 (PDF 19 pages 589KB)

Comments on the draft guidance and details of case studies should be sent to [email protected] by the 11th January 2020.

Consultees, when responding, please restrict comments to the scope and content of the part one guidance, bearing in mind that other relevant issues will feature in part two of the guidance.

15th November 2019

When it met on the 6th November the Board agreed that the Good Governance – Phase II Report (PDF 16 pages 4.33MB) should be published and that the Secretariat, in conjunction with the project team at Hymans Robertson and scheme stakeholders, should proceed to develop Phase III of the project including draft statutory guidance on governance compliance statements and establishing a set of key performance indicators. Any comments on the Phase II report and its recommendations should be sent to [email protected]. Final proposals for Phase III of the project will be considered by the Board when it next meets on the 3rd February 2020.

Commenting on the report, Councillor Roger Phillips, Chair, said “We have reached another critical stage in this key area of work to improve the governance and administration of the scheme on a consistent and measured basis that will match the standards expected by the Pensions Regulator. We now look forward to the next stage in the project and implementing the recommendations approved by the Board.”

14th November - Board meeting summary 6th November 2019

The Board has published a summary of the 6th November meeting, please see the Board updates page

5th November 2019

Response to NHS consultation (NHS).

An informal response from the Boards secretariat to the consultation on pension flexibility within the NHS pension scheme was submitted on the 1st November 2019.

16th October 2019 - MHCLG SF3

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government publishes Statistics on the local government pension scheme in England and Wales 2018 2019.

Local government pension scheme funds for England and Wales: 2018 to 2019 PDF, 582KB, 17 pages

15th October 2019 - Update on CMA Order

Following further clarification from DWP and MHCLG it is now our understanding that Remedy 1 (obligation to tender Fiduciary Management service) will NOT apply to the LGPS but that amendments to MHCLG's ISS statutory guidance will implement remedy 7 (obligation to set strategic objectives for Investment Consultants). We still await clarification on the possible extension of FCA's regulatory perimeter to include advice on strategic asset allocation.

Although amendments to the ISS guidance are not expected this year the Order will apply remedy 7 from 10th December 2019 and therefore LGPS authorities should review their arrangements accordingly

The Board briefing note (PDF 5 pages 449kb) on the CMA Order and its impact on the LGPS has been further revised to take into account the understood position that Remedy 7 will apply to the LGPS.

19th September 2019 - The Pensions Regulator publishes its report on governance and administration risks in public service pension schemes

The Pensions Regulator has today published its report into the governance and administration risks in public service pension schemes including the 10 UK local government funds who were engaged with between October 2018 and July 2019. The report summarises the key findings against the Regulator’s Code of Practice 14 both in terms of exceeding and falling short of required standards and will be discussed in detail when SAB next meets on the 6th November 2019. In commenting on the report, Chair of the Board, Councillor Roger Phillips said “This key area of work ties in closely in with the Board’s own Good Governance project. In identifying examples of best practice as well as areas for further improvement the report will undoubtedly be of great assistance to LGPS funds in seeking to enhance their own governance and administration arrangements."

1st September 2019 - Board announces Byhiras as provider of Compliance and Reporting system

The Board has appointed Byhiras to develop and host a system designed to enable managers to evidence compliance with its Code of Transparency and provide a range of reporting and comparison tools for LGPS funds and pool companies, for more information go to the Code of Transparency page.

8th August 2019 - Good Governance Working Groups

The Scheme Advisory Board has invited the Hymans Robertson project team to assist the Secretariat in taking forward the next stage of the good governance project. Two working groups will be established, one to focus on defining good governance outcomes and the guidance needed to clearly set them out and the other to focus on options for the independent assessment of outcomes and mechanisms to improve the delivery of those outcomes. Both groups will comprise a wide range of scheme stakeholders to ensure a full range of views and options are considered. The aim is for an options report to be ready for the Board's consideration when it meets in November. Any proposals agreed by the Board would be subject to a full stakeholder consultation before being put to MHCLG. Details of both working groups will be published here shortly.

7th August 2019 - LGPS EW mortality data: approach from CMI

GAD have been approached by the actuarial profession’s Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) to request LGPS (E&W) mortality data. Below is a letter from CMI to GAD setting out their proposal (and information for pension schemes). GAD, MHCLG and the SAB Secretariat are supportive of this proposal in principle, but would welcome the views of stakeholders. Also below is a letter setting out a summary of the CMI proposal, and the questions on which GAD are seeking views to be considered by the Cost Management, Benefit Design and Administration Committee.

LGPS mortality data CMI 7 Aug 2019 (PDF 2 pages 626kb)

Letter CMI to GAD 23 July 2019 (PDF 3 pages 316kb)

CMI SAPS data information for pension schemes July 2019 (PDF 3 pages 242kb)

31st July - TPR publishes consultation on guidance to implement CMA Order

The Pensions Regulator has published a consultation on new guidance to support tougher rules on investment governance. This consultation along with that issued by the DWP on the 29th of this month appears to reflect a position of the LGPS only being in scope for CMA remedy 7 - the obligation to set strategic objectives for investment consultants.

Authorities should therefore take note of and consider responding to the consultation in particular the draft guide Setting objectives for providers of investment consultancy services

The Board briefing note (PDF 5 pages 449kb) on the CMA Order and its impact on the LGPS has been further revised to take into account the currently understood position that only remedy 7 will apply to the LGPS.

31st July 2019 - Luke Hall MP appointed as Local Government Minister

On 31st July it was announced that Luke Hall MP had been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Local Government and Homelessness.

Luke Hall MP was born and grew up in South Gloucestershire and worked in retail from the age of 16 prior to being elected as the Member of Parliament for Thornbury & Yate in May 2015. He has been an active member of the local Conservative Party since 2009, was Constituency Chairman in South Gloucestershire and has served as the Deputy Chairman of the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservatives.

Luke Hall MP is the 6th holder of the post since 2010 following in the footsteps of Bob Neil MP: May 2010 to September 2012, Brandon Lewis MP: Sept 2012 to July 2014, Kris Hopkins MP: July 2014 to May 2015, Marcus Jones MP: May 2015 to January 2018 and Rishi Sunak MP who served from January 2018 until his move to become Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.

The Chair of the Board has written to wish the previous minister well in his new post and will shortly be writing to the new minister to introduce the Board and its role within the LGPS.

31st July 2019 - Board publishes Good Governance Report

When it met on the 8th July, the Board agreed that the Good Governance Report (PDF 34 pages 848kb) should be published before the end of July and that the Secretariat should, in conjunction with the project team and scheme stakeholders, work to develop a detailed plan to present to the Board in November to implement the report's findings and conclusions. This will ensure continued progress in this important area of the workplan. Scheme stakeholders will be given the opportunity to comment on the Board's recommended implementation plan before any formal approach is made to MHCLG Ministers for changes to the scheme's regulations or guidance

29th July - DWP publishes consultation on Fiduciary Management and Investment Consultants

The DWP has published a consultation on regulations to enact the provisions of the June CMA Order on the obligations of Schemes with regard to FM and IC services.

LGPS authorities should note that Chapter 2 of the consultation documents itself covers scope and explicitly rules out coverage of the LGPS

A revised briefing note can be viewed here (PDF 8 pages 495kb)

24th July - The Pensions Regulator publishes report on Public Service Pension Schemes

The Pensions Regulator has published a full research report which details all the 2018 survey results, together with commentary intended to draw out the key points and areas of concern identified.

17th July - Board meeting summary 8th July 2019

The Board has published a summary of the 8th July meeting, please see the Board updates page

15th July 2019 - Government announces that McCloud case will affect all public service pension schemes

The Chief Secretary to Treasury confirmed that remedies relating to the McCloud judgement will need to be made in relation to all public service pension schemes. The statement and an updated McCloud Q&A can be found on the cost management page of this site

12th July - Board briefing on CMA Order.

On 10th June the CMA published an Order covering Fiduciary Management and Investment Consultants which has implications for LGPS funds and pool companies. A briefing note can be viewed here (PDF 8 pages 495kb)

27th June McCloud Case - Government denied leave to appeal

The Supreme Court today (27th June) denied the Government’s request for an appeal in the McCloud and Sargeant case in respect of age discrimination and pension protection. Further news will follow once we can confirm the next steps in the process. The McCloud Q&A page has been updated accordingly

21st May 2019 Code of Transparency - CTI releases templates and guidance

The Board welcomes the release today of a framework of templates and guidance by the Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI) as an important step in achieving clarity in cost and value for asset owners and pension scheme members.

These templates will from today be adopted as an integral part of the Board’s Code of Transparency. Existing Code signatories which number in excess of 110 will be encouraged to make use of the new templates as soon as possible but will have a transition period of up to 12 months to ensure they can adapt systems without interrupting the current flows of data. New signatories, including those property and private markets managers who can take advantage of the new templates will be expected to use them immediately.

We are eager to work with existing and new signatories in ensuring the new framework is a success and will welcome feedback from managers as they implement or transition to the new templates.

The Board recognises the importance of the timely and accurate receipt of cost data but also that effective analysis and ‘decision maker’ education is equally vital in the delivery of investment value. Template data can and will lead to better management of cost but it is only one element alongside risk and performance contributing to the returns necessary to secure the pensions of our scheme members for the future.

Today’s announcement by the CTI will ensure providers benefit from a standard reporting framework and their customers from regular and comprehensive cost data. The adoption of the framework by the Board will see it implemented across £275bn of assets to the benefit of over 6m LGPS scheme members.

Cllr Roger Phillips the Chair of the Board said: "“I wholeheartedly welcome the launch of the CTI templates and guidance and would encourage those managers not yet signed up to the LGPS Code of Transparency to now take the opportunity to do so.

My thanks go to Mel Duffield, the CTI Board and its working groups in getting us to this important point on the journey. There is still work to be done, especially with regard to the effective use of this data, but for now this fine example of the industry working together deserves to be celebrated”

14th May 2019

SAB publishes advice on McCloud and valuations

Cost Management page, advice on McCloud and valuations

29th April 2019

HM Treasury launches consultation on public sector exit payments:

New item added to Scheme Developments menu - will be updated as more information us received

26th April 2019

Scheme Advisory Board launches "Code of Transparency compliance system" tender exercise. The tender is to design, build, host and support a system to validate / check for completion the templates received from the relevant fund managers for each of the relevant LGPS funds and or Pools. Delta eSourcing is being used to run this exercise, please visit https://www.delta-esourcing.com/tenders/UK-UK-London:-IT-services:-consulting,-software-development,-Internet-and-support./B4J5E4G5GZ or the cost transparency page for more details.

20th February 2019

Minister response letter regarding the pause of the SAB cost management process:

Letter from Minister regarding pause of SAB cost management process (pdf 42kb)

14th February 2019

McCloud case/Cost cap Q&A published. Please go to the Cost Management page to link to the Q&A and consider the question of how best to approach the 2019 valuation in light of the case and the pause of cost cap.

8th February 2019

SAB pauses cost management process following last week’s WMS pausing cost cap as a result of McCloud. Please go to the Cost Management page for more information for more information.

8th February 2019

Hymans Robertson has been appointed by the Scheme Advisory Board to conduct a survey on governance of the LGPS and potential conflicts of interest between the pensions function of administering authorities and their host local authority. A statement setting out details of how the survey will be conducted can be found here.

30th January 2019

Government announces a pause in the cost cap process for all public service pension schemes due to the uncertainty caused by the ruling of the Court of Appeal in the McCloud case. Please go to the Cost Management page for more information.

News Archive

SAB

The Login form is for Scheme Advisory Board members only.

If you are a SAB member, please go to the Login form to access secure content.