Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme
Auditors give SLGPS a clean bill of health
Audit Scotland has published its annual overview of the Scottish Local Government pension Scheme. It shows a big increase in the value of scheme funds up to £42bn and all funds had an unqualified audit. Challenges remain as liabilities are also rising and the scheme still awaits Scottish Minister's consideration of the structure review.
Scottish LGPS Investment Regulations relaxed
The investment regulations need a major overhaul, but a simple amendment to the regulations have been tabled by Scottish Ministers as a quick fix. It doubles the current limit on infrastructure investment.
Scottish Pensions and infrastructure investment
The Scottish Parliament's Local Government Committee has published a report on pensions and infrastructure investment following a short inquiry. UNISON Scotland gave written and oral evidence to the inquiry and broadly welcomes its conclusions. Here is our blog post on the report.
LGPS is safe and sustainable
UNISON has dismissed the Centre for Policy Studies report on the local government pensions scheme (LGPS) as a scare story. UNISON head of pensions Glyn Jenkins said:
“UNISON fundamentally disagrees with the conclusions of this report. The LGPS is both safe and sustainable – being funded both by contributions from scheme members, employers and investment income."
Perils of pension transfer
A case study in The Herald illustrates the perils of pension transfer. A member of the Strathclyde Pension Fund transferred £160,000 into a personal pension. The Financial Ombudsman Service has ordered the provider (Portal) to compensate Mr Brown after finding that it put 85% of his cash into “complex and sophisticated investments which presented a significant risk to Mr B’s pension fund”. Over £6bn have now been withdrawn from pension funds.
An international campaign group for people targeted by pension liberation schemes has called for a government task force to tackle the fall-out from George Osborne’s pensions revolution. Pension Life says it represents “victims of numerous dubious schemes with total losses in excess of £2billion”. City of London Police figures show that in the 12 months to February 2016, £13.2 million was lost in pensions liberation schemes - an increase of 26per cent on the previous year. The average amount lost was just over £20,000.
SLGPS Board Bulletin
The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board publishes a regular Bulletin after each meeting. This Bulletin covers the May meeting,
LGPS Amendment Regulations
The bulk of the proposed amendments are technical although they also introduce provisions required by the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.
This is the latest Bulletin from the Scottish Local Government Scheme Advisory Board.
New Guidance on SLGPS transfers to DC schemes
The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board has issued guidance to employers on how to handle transfers from the scheme to Defined Contribution schemes under the UK governments pension choice arrangements.
The new Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme started on 1 April 2015. The main changes are:
Pensions Ombudsman rules on Academy conversion
The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has rejected a complaint by an Academy in England against the administering authority of its Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) fund about the funding methodology used to allocate assets to the Academy when it was initially set up. While we don't have Academy schools in Scotland the principles in this decision could apply to other admitted bodies to the Scottish LGPS.
Pension Funds wake up to fossil fuel investment risk
Britain’s biggest carbon polluters stand to lose billions of pounds from tough new climate targets and must come clean with their shareholders about the financial crisis that lies ahead, the country’s biggest pension funds have warned.
Wellcome Trust losses make the case for divestment
The Wellcome Trust’s investments in fossil fuel companies have lost an estimated £175m in the last year, due to sharp falls in share prices. This shows that there is a financial, not just a moral, case for divestment.
Bill McKibben, founder of the global fossil fuel divestment campaign which has seen companies, universities, churches, cities and philanthropic organisations around the world divest, said the Wellcome Trust’s failure to divest from fossil fuels meant it had lost money that could have funded its programmes.
The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLGPS) is a funded, defined benefit, statutory occupational pension scheme. It is the largest pension scheme in Scotland with around 220,000 active members, 100,000 deferred members and 168,000 pensioners and dependants.
The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board advises Scottish Ministers on the scheme. It has two UNISON representatives. UNISON Scottish Organiser Dave Watson is the Trade Union Side Secretary. The £28bn assets are administered by 11 local funds each of which has a Pensions Board (with UNISON representatives) and Pension Committee.
SLGPS members can find contact details for their local fund here.