Agenda item

Current Issues


A report was presented to provide Members of the Pension Fund Committee (the Committee) with an update on current issues affecting the Pension Fund locally or the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in general.


LGPS and Levelling Up


Further to the information provided at the March meeting of the Committee, as yet, nothing was confirmed, but the current expectation was that the Government would not be expecting LGPS Funds to report on investments made within their specific local area, but was instead looking to leverage LGPS assets to invest further in projects across the UK (or possibly across

England and Wales) – primarily infrastructure but possibly private equity investments as well.  Further updates would be provided when available.


Scheme Advisory Board Annual Report 2021/2022


Earlier this month the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) published its ninth Annual Report for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales.   The report was available on the SAB website at the following link:


The report emphasised that the LGPS was one of the largest defined benefit (DB) schemes in the world and the largest DB scheme in England and Wales, with 14,448 active employers, 6.2 million members and assets of £342 billion.


Key highlights for the LGPS were listed as follows:


  • Total membership of the LGPS grew by 66,624 (1.08%) to 6.226 million members in 2021 from 6.160 million in 2020.
  • The total assets of the LGPS increased to £342 billion (a change of 23.4%). These assets were invested in pooled investment vehicles (66.2%), public equities (13.4%) bonds (4.6%), direct property (2.3%), as well as other asset classes (8.7%).
  • The Local Authority net return on investment over 2020/21 was 20.56%.  This was reflective of the market conditions during the year and set against the UK equities return of 30%.
  • The scheme maintained a positive cash-flow position overall, including investment income.
  • Over 1.8 million pensioners were paid over the year.
  • Covid-19 significantly impacted life expectancy - with a drop of 0.9 years and 0.5 years for males and females respectively (2019 figures v 2020).
  • Total management charges increased by £196 million (+12.9%) from £1,517 million. This was primarily driven by a £193 million (14.9%) rise in investment management charges, while administration and oversight and governance costs remained broadly stable.


The main activity for the SAB during the year ending 31 March 2021 was listed as dealing with issues relating to the McCloud discrimination case, the Good Governance Project, the government's introduction of the £95k Exit Payment Cap (subsequently removed) and Responsible Investment guidance.  In addition, the SAB directed a large part of its resources to responding to the Covid-19 crisis and supporting the sector through that and the ensuing changes in ways of working.



LGPS Online Learning Academy


The Fund had recently purchased Hymans Robertson’s LGPS On-Line Learning Academy and had ensured that every Pension Fund Committee and Local Pension Board member had access to it. The Learning Academy allowed Members to access a suite of short training videos explaining different aspects of the pension scheme, covering administration, governance and investments as well as current pension issues such as measuring the carbon exposure of the Fund’s investments and other responsible investment issues. It was intended to cover all of the ‘knowledge and understanding’ requirements that Pension Board members were legally required to obtain (and Pension Committee members were strongly encouraged to obtain).


It was suggested that Members worked through the training at their own pace and provide feedback to the Head of Pensions Governance and Investment.


ORDERED that the information provided was received and noted.

Supporting documents: