In line with other UK public sector pension funds, the LGPS undergoes an actuarial valuation every three years. The last triennial valuation of the LGPS assets and liabilities (as at May 2017) was at 31st March 2016 (see below) and the next one will be as at 31st March 2019. The results will be made available on this website as soon as they are available.

2016 Actuarial Statement

In line with the LGPS regulations, the funds' actuarial positions are reviewed every three years. The triennial valuation results shown in the 2016 Annual Report and Accounts were based on membership data and asset values as at 31st March 2013. These valuations set the employer contribution rates for the from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2017, and were payable during the accounting period ended 31st March 2016. The 2013 valuations, using fund data at 31st March 2013 have set the contribution rates from 1st April 2014, and have taken into consideration funding under the new benefit structure.

2016 Actuarial Valuation

Due to the timing of the annual reports and valuations, the 2016 valuation results are available (as of April 2017) and are included here for reference.  The overall result of the 2016 valuation using LGPS fund data at 31st March 2016 with a comparison for 2013 is set out below. The 2016 valuation results were used to set contribution rates from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020.  It is important to note that each fund will have used different assumptions, and whilst not directly comparable across funds, the aggregated total liabilities provides a prudent estimate for the scheme at the triennial valuation dates.

As at 31st March 2016, the total asset value of the Scheme was £216 billion, compared with £181 billion as at 31st March 2013. The liabilities totalled 254 billion in aggregate. The overall funding level was around 85%.

By way of comparison as at 31st March 2016, the funding level of the 5,945 direct benefit occupational pension schemes within the Pension Protection Fund index was 81.0% (on a insurance buyout basis, which is different from the LGPS actuarial valuation methodology). As at 31st March 2016 the University Superannuation Scheme funding level was 83%.

*See valuation 2010, 2013 and 2016 pages for fund values used in calculations

 

2016 LGPS funding level £ billion

Funding level*

2010 79%

2013 79%

2016 85%

Valuation chart image

£ billion

Assets

Liabilities

Deficit

2010 141.6 178.5 36.9
2013 180.5 227.3 46.8
2016 216.4 253.6 37.2

Development of LGPS funding position

Following the 2013 valuation, the Board published two summary reports. A summary version outlined the key findings of the 2013 valuations and provided some brief background. A more detailed version gives a fuller overview of the 2013 valuations and provided some wider context as to a) how employer contribution rates are calculated during valuations, and b) how individual fund valuations relate to the Board cost management process which will first be undertaken following 2016 results.

The Board will be producing a similar report for 2016 in due course.

Aggregated information

We have the following aggregated information from the annual report and audited accounts of the LGPS funds as at 31st March 2016 showing the development of the LGPS. Importantly, this notes that active membership increased and contribution payments continue to exceed benefit payments, which is consistent with the scheme remaining open to new entrants.

 

2016

2015

2014

2013

Number of actives (000) 1,899 1,905  1,819 1,728
Number of deferred (000) 1,859 1,834  1,723 1,621
Number of pensioners (000) 1,530 1,512  1,459 1,408
Total value of assets £217bn £217bn  £192bn £180bn
Net return on Investment 0.1% 12.1%  5.9% 12.5%
Total contributions paid £9.3bn £9.6bn  £8.7bn £8.3bn
Total benefits paid £9.4bn £9.0bn  £8.6bn £8.2bn
Inflation (CPI) (change over previous 12 months to September) 0.0% 1.2%  2.7% 2.2%

 

Income and Expenditure
year to 31st March 2016

Cashflow chart image

Cashflow of the Scheme (£000s)

 

2014

2014

2015

2015

2016

2016

   

In

Out

In

Out

In

Out

Contributions 8,671,051   9,568,209   9,341,560   
Transfers in from other pension funds 549,662   3,017,710   434,034   
Other income 69,666   74,963   45,792   
Net Investment income 3,370,227   3,547,684   3,609,726   
Total income   12,660,606   16,208,566   13,431,112   
               
Benefits   (8,554,773)   (9,026,333)   (9,386,123) 
Payments to and on account of leavers   (518,920)   (3,263,646)   (536,862) 
Administration expenses (including oversight and governance)   (141,263)   (182,311)    (177,118) 
Investment management expenses   (518,965)   (727,335)   (805,203) 
Total expenditure     (9,733,921)   (13,199,625)   (10,905,306) 

 

Life Expectancy Index

Hymans Robertson and Club Vita have developed an LGPS Life Expectancy Index to support the work of the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board. This Index will help support the communication of changing life expectancy in the LGPS to its scheme members. The Index will also provide the Board with longevity related information, including early warning of upwards cost pressures to support its role in the cost management process. We have relied upon data provided by Hymans Robertson and its longevity comparison club, Club Vita, when preparing the Index.

The information on this page is not specific to the circumstances of any particular reader or organisation, does not constitute advice, nor should it be relied upon by third parties. Life Expectancy Indices may also be produced by other organisations and use other sources of data.

Changes in observed longevity

The chart below demonstrates the annual progression of the LGPS Life Expectancy Index between 1993 and 2015 for male and female E&W LGPS pensioners.

Years in retirement from age 65 (1993 - 2015)

Life Expectancy Index

In this form the index clearly demonstrates how life expectancy in retirement has changed over time. It shows that life expectancy in retirement (measured from age 65) has increased from 14.4 years in 1993 to 19.0 years in 2015 for males and from 18.4 years in 1993 to 21.7 years in 2015 for females.

The average rate of increase in life expectancy has been around 2.1 years per decade for males and around 1.5 years per decade for females. Note that life expectancy does not increase uniformly over the 21 year period, while in some years it increases, in other years it is unchanged or even falls.

Do the 2010’s represent the start of a new trend?

Over the period to 2011 we can observe a significant and sustained increase in life expectancy (which can be confirmed by a quick glance at the LGPS Life Expectancy Index). The consistency in the year on year increases in life expectancy during the 2000’s might have led us to assume that life expectancies will continue to rise in a similar way in the future.  However, more recent experience (since 2011) shows some year on year volatility. In particular:

  • The winter of 2012 followed a noticeably dull summer, and was itself harsh and sustained. This was then followed, in 2013, by the coldest spring for 50 years. These factors contributed to the slowing in the rate of life expectancy increases observed across 2012 and 2013.
  • While there were no events of note that impacted mortality during 2014, early 2015 saw significantly higher deaths than anticipated initially driven by the flu virus, against which the usual vaccine was ineffective, particularly during the first months of the year.
  • It has become clear, as we have examined the rest of 2015 in more detail, that deaths were elevated throughout the year, with many more resulting from dementia (and related conditions) than would otherwise have been anticipated.

The result of the combination of these factors has been an apparent ‘levelling off’ of life expectancy over the period since 2011.

This raises a key question – does this recent period of higher numbers of deaths simply represent volatility or a short term ‘blip’ following a period of relatively consistent increases in life expectancy, or is it indicative of a period of slower increases in life expectancy compared with the 2000s?  Of course, under either scenario there remains the potential for further volatility associated with external events (such as weather) or a return to previous levels of improvements in life expectancy as the remaining pensioner population trends towards being made up of ‘healthier’ survivors.

What should LGPS Funds (and their Actuaries) do about this? They will typically take a longer term view, seeking to base their funding assumptions for longevity on a broader view of how longevity has been changing rather than reacting to the most recent experience alone.

We know that death rates fluctuate from year-to-year and, as shown above, we are able to explain recent experience largely by reference to external events. The increased deaths resulting from dementia (and related conditions) merits close attention. This may be a driver for the start of a new trend in longevity, but it is too early to give a definitive view on this.

If nothing else, recent experience should serve as a reminder that LGPS Funds (and their Actuaries) should continue to monitor longevity trends and seek to better understand the drivers of changes in life expectancy.

Methodology

The LGPS Life Expectancy Index tracks the life expectancy of E&W LGPS pensioners. The methodology ensures the index results are objective and reflect the experience of E&W LGPS members.

The index is based on period life expectancy from age 65. For each year this is a measure of how long you expect to make pension payments to an average member based on death rates in that year.

This approach to measuring life expectancy uses only observable, verifiable data (with data on circa 2/3rds of E&W LGPS pensioners used by the index) and avoids any need for subjective assumptions about how life expectancies will change in the future.

The index allows changes in life expectancy from year to year, and trends in life expectancy emerging over a number of years, to be clearly identifiable.

Reliances and Limitations

  • The life expectancy values shown in this chart have been provided by Club Vita to the Advisory Board for inclusion in the Scheme Annual Report. Whilst they can be reproduced, they should not be relied upon or used for any other purpose without the written permission of Club Vita LLP and Hymans Robertson LLP.
  • Life expectancies are based on the experience of English and Welsh LGPS Funds that have provided data to Club Vita as at December 2015.
  • The life expectancy shown for a particular year is the period life expectancy measured at age 65 - this is based on the exposure and deaths occurring during that year, so do not make any allowance for changes in longevity before or after that year.
  • To be clear, the life expectancies shown have been calculated from the crude mortality rates of E&W LGPS pensioners.
  • The life expectancy of an individual LGPS pensioner will depend on many factors, including age, gender, health, wealth, future changes in mortality, etc. and the figures shown here are not intended to represent or predict the life expectancy of any one individual member.

In line with other UK public sector pension funds, the LGPS undergoes an actuarial valuation every three years. The last triennial valuation of the LGPS assets and liabilities (as at May 2017) was at 31st March 2016 (see below) and the next one will be as at 31st March 2019. The results will be made available on this website as soon as they are available.

2016 Actuarial Statement

In line with the LGPS regulations, the funds' actuarial positions are reviewed every three years. The triennial valuation results shown in the 2016 Annual Report and Accounts were based on membership data and asset values as at 31st March 2013. These valuations set the employer contribution rates for the from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2017, and were payable during the accounting period ended 31st March 2016. The 2013 valuations, using fund data at 31st March 2013 have set the contribution rates from 1st April 2014, and have taken into consideration funding under the new benefit structure.

2016 Actuarial Valuation

Due to the timing of the annual reports and valuations, the 2016 valuation results are available (as of April 2017) and are included here for reference.  The overall result of the 2016 valuation using LGPS fund data at 31st March 2016 with a comparison for 2013 is set out below. The 2016 valuation results were used to set contribution rates from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020.  It is important to note that each fund will have used different assumptions, and whilst not directly comparable across funds, the aggregated total liabilities provides a prudent estimate for the scheme at the triennial valuation dates.

As at 31st March 2016, the total asset value of the Scheme was £216 billion, compared with £181 billion as at 31st March 2013. The liabilities totalled 254 billion in aggregate. The overall funding level was around 85%.

By way of comparison as at 31st March 2016, the funding level of the 5,945 direct benefit occupational pension schemes within the Pension Protection Fund index was 81.0% (on a insurance buyout basis, which is different from the LGPS actuarial valuation methodology). As at 31st March 2016 the University Superannuation Scheme funding level was 83%.

*See valuation 2010, 2013 and 2016 pages for fund values used in calculations

 

2016 LGPS funding level £ billion

Funding level*

2010 79%

2013 79%

2016 85%

Valuation chart image

£ billion

Assets

Liabilities

Deficit

2010 141.6 178.5 36.9
2013 180.5 227.3 46.8
2016 216.4 253.6 37.2

Development of LGPS funding position

Following the 2013 valuation, the Board published two summary reports. A summary version outlined the key findings of the 2013 valuations and provided some brief background. A more detailed version gives a fuller overview of the 2013 valuations and provided some wider context as to a) how employer contribution rates are calculated during valuations, and b) how individual fund valuations relate to the Board cost management process which will first be undertaken following 2016 results.

The Board will be producing a similar report for 2016 in due course.

Aggregated information

We have the following aggregated information from the annual report and audited accounts of the LGPS funds as at 31st March 2016 showing the development of the LGPS. Importantly, this notes that active membership increased and contribution payments continue to exceed benefit payments, which is consistent with the scheme remaining open to new entrants.

 

2016

2015

2014

2013

Number of actives (000) 1,899 1,905  1,819 1,728
Number of deferred (000) 1,859 1,834  1,723 1,621
Number of pensioners (000) 1,530 1,512  1,459 1,408
Total value of assets £217bn £217bn  £192bn £180bn
Net return on Investment 0.1% 12.1%  5.9% 12.5%
Total contributions paid £9.3bn £9.6bn  £8.7bn £8.3bn
Total benefits paid £9.4bn £9.0bn  £8.6bn £8.2bn
Inflation (CPI) (change over previous 12 months to September) 0.0% 1.2%  2.7% 2.2%

 

Income and Expenditure
year to 31st March 2016

Cashflow chart image

Cashflow of the Scheme (£000s)

 

2014

2014

2015

2015

2016

2016

   

In

Out

In

Out

In

Out

Contributions 8,671,051   9,568,209   9,341,560   
Transfers in from other pension funds 549,662   3,017,710   434,034   
Other income 69,666   74,963   45,792   
Net Investment income 3,370,227   3,547,684   3,609,726   
Total income   12,660,606   16,208,566   13,431,112   
               
Benefits   (8,554,773)   (9,026,333)   (9,386,123) 
Payments to and on account of leavers   (518,920)   (3,263,646)   (536,862) 
Administration expenses (including oversight and governance)   (141,263)   (182,311)    (177,118) 
Investment management expenses   (518,965)   (727,335)   (805,203) 
Total expenditure     (9,733,921)   (13,199,625)   (10,905,306) 

 

Life Expectancy Index

Hymans Robertson and Club Vita have developed an LGPS Life Expectancy Index to support the work of the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board. This Index will help support the communication of changing life expectancy in the LGPS to its scheme members. The Index will also provide the Board with longevity related information, including early warning of upwards cost pressures to support its role in the cost management process. We have relied upon data provided by Hymans Robertson and its longevity comparison club, Club Vita, when preparing the Index.

The information on this page is not specific to the circumstances of any particular reader or organisation, does not constitute advice, nor should it be relied upon by third parties. Life Expectancy Indices may also be produced by other organisations and use other sources of data.

Changes in observed longevity

The chart below demonstrates the annual progression of the LGPS Life Expectancy Index between 1993 and 2015 for male and female E&W LGPS pensioners.

Years in retirement from age 65 (1993 - 2015)

Life Expectancy Index

In this form the index clearly demonstrates how life expectancy in retirement has changed over time. It shows that life expectancy in retirement (measured from age 65) has increased from 14.4 years in 1993 to 19.0 years in 2015 for males and from 18.4 years in 1993 to 21.7 years in 2015 for females.

The average rate of increase in life expectancy has been around 2.1 years per decade for males and around 1.5 years per decade for females. Note that life expectancy does not increase uniformly over the 21 year period, while in some years it increases, in other years it is unchanged or even falls.

Do the 2010’s represent the start of a new trend?

Over the period to 2011 we can observe a significant and sustained increase in life expectancy (which can be confirmed by a quick glance at the LGPS Life Expectancy Index). The consistency in the year on year increases in life expectancy during the 2000’s might have led us to assume that life expectancies will continue to rise in a similar way in the future.  However, more recent experience (since 2011) shows some year on year volatility. In particular:

  • The winter of 2012 followed a noticeably dull summer, and was itself harsh and sustained. This was then followed, in 2013, by the coldest spring for 50 years. These factors contributed to the slowing in the rate of life expectancy increases observed across 2012 and 2013.
  • While there were no events of note that impacted mortality during 2014, early 2015 saw significantly higher deaths than anticipated initially driven by the flu virus, against which the usual vaccine was ineffective, particularly during the first months of the year.
  • It has become clear, as we have examined the rest of 2015 in more detail, that deaths were elevated throughout the year, with many more resulting from dementia (and related conditions) than would otherwise have been anticipated.

The result of the combination of these factors has been an apparent ‘levelling off’ of life expectancy over the period since 2011.

This raises a key question – does this recent period of higher numbers of deaths simply represent volatility or a short term ‘blip’ following a period of relatively consistent increases in life expectancy, or is it indicative of a period of slower increases in life expectancy compared with the 2000s?  Of course, under either scenario there remains the potential for further volatility associated with external events (such as weather) or a return to previous levels of improvements in life expectancy as the remaining pensioner population trends towards being made up of ‘healthier’ survivors.

What should LGPS Funds (and their Actuaries) do about this? They will typically take a longer term view, seeking to base their funding assumptions for longevity on a broader view of how longevity has been changing rather than reacting to the most recent experience alone.

We know that death rates fluctuate from year-to-year and, as shown above, we are able to explain recent experience largely by reference to external events. The increased deaths resulting from dementia (and related conditions) merits close attention. This may be a driver for the start of a new trend in longevity, but it is too early to give a definitive view on this.

If nothing else, recent experience should serve as a reminder that LGPS Funds (and their Actuaries) should continue to monitor longevity trends and seek to better understand the drivers of changes in life expectancy.

Methodology

The LGPS Life Expectancy Index tracks the life expectancy of E&W LGPS pensioners. The methodology ensures the index results are objective and reflect the experience of E&W LGPS members.

The index is based on period life expectancy from age 65. For each year this is a measure of how long you expect to make pension payments to an average member based on death rates in that year.

This approach to measuring life expectancy uses only observable, verifiable data (with data on circa 2/3rds of E&W LGPS pensioners used by the index) and avoids any need for subjective assumptions about how life expectancies will change in the future.

The index allows changes in life expectancy from year to year, and trends in life expectancy emerging over a number of years, to be clearly identifiable.

Reliances and Limitations

  • The life expectancy values shown in this chart have been provided by Club Vita to the Advisory Board for inclusion in the Scheme Annual Report. Whilst they can be reproduced, they should not be relied upon or used for any other purpose without the written permission of Club Vita LLP and Hymans Robertson LLP.
  • Life expectancies are based on the experience of English and Welsh LGPS Funds that have provided data to Club Vita as at December 2015.
  • The life expectancy shown for a particular year is the period life expectancy measured at age 65 - this is based on the exposure and deaths occurring during that year, so do not make any allowance for changes in longevity before or after that year.
  • To be clear, the life expectancies shown have been calculated from the crude mortality rates of E&W LGPS pensioners.
  • The life expectancy of an individual LGPS pensioner will depend on many factors, including age, gender, health, wealth, future changes in mortality, etc. and the figures shown here are not intended to represent or predict the life expectancy of any one individual member.

Appendix 1 Definition of Period expectation of life

Definition of Period Expectation of Life

Source: Office for National Statistics, “Life expectancy at age 65 by local areas in the United Kingdom, 2004-06 and 2008-10”, 19 October 2011

“Period expectation of life at a given age for an area in a given time period is an estimate of the average number of years a person of that age would survive if he or she experienced the particular area’s age-specific mortality rates for that period throughout the rest of his or her life. The figures reflect mortality among those living in an area in each time period, rather than mortality among those born in each area.” “Period life expectancy at age 65 in 2000 is worked out using the mortality rate for age 65 in 2000, for age 66 in 2000, for age 67 in 2000, and so on.” “Period life expectancies are a useful measure of mortality rates actually experienced over a given period, and for past years, provide an objective means of comparison of the trends in mortality over time, between areas of a country and between countries. Official life tables in the UK and other countries which relate to past years are generally period life tables for these reasons.”

Appendix 2 Calculation of period life expectancy

Information on calculating a longevity index

The starting point for the LGPS Life Expectancy Index is the collection of a complete and reliable record of longevity experience data for the LGPS. Club Vita currently hold up to date experience data for c. two-thirds of E&W LGPS pensioners. This is more than sufficient to produce an initial E&W LGPS Life Expectancy Index. Funds that are not currently providing data are invited to contact Club Vita if they wish their data to be represented in the LGPS Life Expectancy Index.

Once data has been collected, the calculation steps involved in producing the LGPS Life Expectancy Index are broadly as follows:

  • For a reference period (eg calendar year 2011) and a reference population (eg E&W LPGS pensioners) where data has been collated, determine the observed (“crude”) death rate at each age (65, 66, 67, etc).
  • The crude death rate at each age is simply the number of deaths at that age divided by the number of people being observed at that age. So it is an observable (objective) quantity, measuring the proportion of people that died at each age.
  • The period life expectancy from 65 can be calculated directly from the crude death rates, and is the average length of time an individual aged 65 would live for, based on those observed death rates.