Chair's Foreword

On behalf of the Shadow Scheme Advisory Board I am delighted to be able to present the first ever Annual Report for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales. The aggregation of key information about the Scheme as a whole is one of the top priorities of the Board.

The aim of this Annual Report is to provide information about the LGPS, the largest DB occupational pension scheme in England and Wales for its members, employers, and other stakeholders. It aggregates information supplied in the 89 fund annual reports, as at 31 March 2013. To navigate the Annual Report, please use the menu to the right of this page, or the hyperlinks.

Here are just some of the highlights from the information we have gathered:

  • The total membership of the LGPS is 4.8m people.
  • Some 9,340 employers participated in the LGPS across England and Wales.
  • The average age of an LGPS active member is 47 and average salary is £22k.
  • The average pensioner is age 67 and average pension is £5,000 per year.
  • The LGPS had a positive inward cash flow of £12bn that exceeded its current outgoings of £9bn.
  • Each of the LGPS funds has a statutory governance compliance statement and is governed by a Pensions Committee which have, on average, 10 members.
  • The LGPS’ total assets under management of £180bn make it one of the largest funded pension schemes in the world. The average investment return on these assets was +12.5% after fees for 2012/13. 41% of LGPS funds are in pooled investment vehicles and 38% in equities, the remaining 21% being split across other asset classes.

The LGPS liabilities are estimated at £227bn indicating an overall funding level of 79%. The Board is actively developing proposals to tackle the estimated funding deficit of £47bn to improve the sustainability of the LGPS and its future funding levels.

The Board is now developing the first Annual Report and suite of LGPS ‘health’ indicators for the new LGPS 2014. This will enable us to assess and benchmark the overall health of the new scheme relative to other large public or private pension schemes, as well as to other LGPS funds.

The Annual Report will also provide a single information source on the state of the LGPS for its members, the media and other stakeholders. By 2020 or preferably earlier I would hope the LGPS would be winning UK, EU and global awards for its excellence.

I would be pleased to hear your views on this 2013 initial Annual Report and our draft proposals for the 2014 Annual Report, these should be sent to Liam Robson.

Ministerial Statement

The sustainability and affordability of public sector pensions is crucial for the long term health of our public finances. I welcome the publication of this combined report and accounts of the Local Government Pension Scheme, as recommended by Lord Hutton in his report on the sustainability of public service pensions. By bringing together the data from all English and Welsh funds, the Shadow Scheme Advisory Board has helped usher in a new standard of transparency for scheme members, employers and taxpayers alike. This will also provide a comprehensive and clear reference document for the scheme as a whole.

As a result, for the very first time, anybody with an interest in the scheme will now have the relevant information necessary to make informed and evidence-based observations on the fund’s performance. This will help make comparisons with other schemes in the public sector and elsewhere.

A great deal of work has already been done to ensure the Local Government Pension Scheme represents real value for money. I commend the board for its efforts so far and look forward to working alongside it as we drive forward with these important reforms to ensure the scheme is fair and affordable to taxpayers and public sector workers alike.

Kris Hopkins MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Joanne Segars Signature

Joanne Segars

Chair of the LGPS Shadow Advisory Board
4 November 2014