Governance of the LGPS
Who runs the LGPS?
The LGPS is one of the largest public sector pension schemes in the UK. It is a nationwide pension scheme for people working in local government or working for other types of employer participating in the scheme. The LGPS in England and Wales is administered locally through 90 local pension funds.
The scheme regulations were made under the Superannuation Act 1972 and in the future will be made under the Public Service Pension Schemes Act 2013. Changes to scheme rules are discussed at national level by employee and employer representatives but can only be amended with the approval of Parliament. Your pension fund must keep you informed of any changes that are made.
The LGPS is a registered public service pension scheme under Chapter 2 of Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004. It achieved automatic registration by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 36 of that Act (because the scheme was, immediately before 6 April 2006, both a retirement benefits scheme approved under Chapter I of Part XIV of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and a relevant statutory scheme under section 611A of that Act). This means, for example, that you receive tax relief on your contributions. It complies with the relevant provisions of the Pension Schemes Act 1993, the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2004.
The LGPS meets the government's standards under the automatic enrolment provisions of the Pensions Act 2008.
From April 2015, your administering authority must establish and operate a Local Pension Board. The Pension Board is responsible for assisting the administering authority in securing compliance with the LGPS regulations, overriding legislation and guidance from the Pensions Regulator. The Board is made up of equal representation from employer and member representatives.
As a scheme member, you will pay contributions to the LGPS. Your employer currently pays in the balance of the cost of providing your benefits after taking into account investment returns. Every three years, an independent actuary calculates how much your employer should contribute to the scheme. The amount will vary, but generally the present underlying assumption is that employees contribute approximately one third of the scheme's costs and the employer contributes the rest.
Your local pension fund's approach to investment will be set out in its published investment strategy statement. The statement will set out how your pension fund takes account of social and environmental considerations. For information about whether the LGPS is sharia compliant see the Islamic Finance Guru website . This confirms that the LGPS is halal because it is a defined benefit pension scheme.
Future cost management of the LGPS
To ensure the long term sustainability of the scheme a cost management process is now in place in the LGPS in England and Wales which will monitor the cost of the scheme to ensure it stays within agreed parameters as set by the Scheme Advisory Board and HM Treasury. Should costs increase outside those parameters future changes to the scheme design may be required.