Chair's Statement

On behalf of the Scheme Advisory Board I am delighted to be able to present the eighth Annual Report for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales. The LGPS is one of the largest defined benefit (DB) schemes in the world and is the largest DB scheme in England and Wales, with 16,300 employers, 6.2m members and assets of £276bn.

The aim of this Annual Report is to provide a single source of information about the status of the LGPS for its members, employers, and other stakeholders. Continually improving key information about the Scheme as a whole is one of the top priorities of the Board. This report aggregates information supplied in the 88 fund annual reports, as at 31st March 2020.

To navigate the Annual Report, please use the menu to the right of this page, or the hyperlinks.

Here are some key LGPS highlights for 2020:

  • The total membership of the LGPS grew by 261,000 (4.2%) to 6.1m members in 2020 from 5.9m in 2019.
  • The total assets of the LGPS decreased to £276bn (a change of -4.9%). These assets were invested in pooled investment vehicles (68%), public equities (14%), bonds (6%), direct property (3%), as well as other asset classes (9%).
  • The Local Authority return on investment over 2019/2020 was -4.8%. This was reflective of the market conditions during the year and set against the UK Return of -28.3%.
  • The scheme maintained a positive cash-flow position overall, including investment income.
  • Over 1.8m pensioners were paid over the year.

As at the 31st March 2019, the LGPS liabilities were estimated at £291bn indicating an overall funding level of 98%. During the intervening years since establishment, the Board actively developed proposals to tackle the funding deficit (£6bn in 2019, £37bn in 2016) to improve the sustainability of the LGPS and its future funding levels. The next triennial valuation of the LGPS will be as at 31st March 2022.

CIPFA updated guidance for 2019, adding example tables to ensure that the reporting of investments remains transparent at all levels within the Scheme. A small number of funds have begun to do this, and it is expected that more will be able to do so in 2020/2021.

I would be pleased to hear your views on this our eighth Annual Report (these should be sent to the Scheme Advisory Board secretariat). The Board is keen to ensure we add to the Report and that the work underlying our compilation and analysis is ultimately recognised through the UK.

Cllr Roger Phillips

Chair of the LGPS Advisory Board
18 May 2021

Cllr Phillips