covid19

Board and committee meetings are currently suspended however the Chair and Vice chair will continue to meet virtually with the secretariat to ensure support for the scheme and contact with relevant government departments is maintained. The secretariat remains available at home by mobile, email or video (MS Teams or Skype for Business) as detailed on the contacts page.

There is now a Coivid-19 News page and an FAQ for scheme administrators on the lgpsregs site both will be updated as new information becomes available and further items for the FAQ are received or clarified.

covid19

Board and committee meetings are currently suspended however the Chair and Vice chair will continue to meet virtually with the secretariat to ensure support for the scheme and contact with relevant government departments is maintained. The secretariat remains available at home by mobile, email or video (MS Teams or Skype for Business) as detailed on the contacts page.

There is now a Coivid-19 News page and an FAQ for scheme administrators on the lgpsregs site both will be updated as new information becomes available and further items for the FAQ are received or clarified.

2nd April – Board statement on LGPS valuations

The Board has issued a statement concerning the 2019 valuations and the recent movements in equity markets

statement on valuations - pdf, 1 page, 96kb 

30th March – PLSA Top Tips for DB and LGPS and PASA Guidance for Administrators published

The PLSA have published Top Tips for DB Schemes and LGPS Funds . Although there are sections that are not directly applicable to the LGPS (TPR guidance for trustees, insurance policies, buy outs etc) there is a lot of good advice and guidance on how to approach dealing with the current situation facing pension schemes.

PASA have also issued Covid-19 Guidance for Administrators setting out priorities together with the basic and high level enablers to achieve them. Again not everything will be directly applicable to LGPS administration teams but nevertheless very useful.

27th March – TPR issues updated DB scheme guidance

On Friday TPR issued updated guidance for DB trustee schemes. Although not directly applicable to the LGPS the guidance includes matters faced by all private sector DB schemes such as valuation assumptions, employer contribution holidays and transfers and provide valuable insight into the regulator's approach.

25th March – Weekly MHCLG video calls for practitioner issues

We have been in contact with MHCLG regularly on a number of Covid-19 related matters and from next Wednesday we will hold weekly video calls to discuss administration issues. Included in these calls will be the feedback from the survey plus other issues raised by authorities and employers. These calls will inform our Q&A responses and assist MHCLG in considering any necessary guidance.

25th March – Rules around local authority pension committee meetings

Some concern has been raised about the ability of pension committees to take decisions virtually. Section 78 of the Coronavirus Bill provides powers to the Secretary of State to make regulations regarding council meetings due to be held up to 7th May 2021. We understand that regulations are being worked on to come into force shortly after the Bill gains royal ascent.

24th March – Letter to chairs of pension committees: impact on LGPS service

The Board Chair has sent a letter to pension committee and pension board chairs with regard to the impact on service provision and supporting the request to administering authority pension managers from the Board Secretary

Scheme resilience - Letter from Cllr Phillips - pdf, 2 pages, 120kb

24th March – Message to administering authorities and request for information on Covid-19 related impacts on service

A message to administering authority pension managers from the LGA Head of Pensions and Board Secretary regarding service provision together with a request to complete an online survey on Covid-19 related issues to better inform discussions with MHCLG and to include in the forthcoming lgpsregs Q&A

23rd March – Extension to local authority accounts timetable

On 16th March government announced an extension to the deadline for publication of local government financial audits from the end of July to 30 September 2020. Since then LGA have sought further clarification on this and whether this also affects the other deadlines, such as the sign off for the accounts. MHCLG have confirmed that they will be amending the whole chain of publication requirements in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, not just the final publication date for accounts. The intention is that the date for the public inspection of draft accounts will move to the first 10 working days of July, which will mean that the accounts themselves will not need to be signed off until 30 June. We have asked MHCLG to confirm if it is their intent to apply a similar delay to the publication of scheme annual report and accounts.

19th March 2020 - Re-employment of key workers

The Chair of the Scheme Advisory Board, Councillor Roger Phillips, has today sent a letter to the Chairs of LGPS Pension Committees regarding the discretionary abatement of pensions for staff who will be returning to assist in the delivery of vital services:

Re-employment of key workers - Letter from Cllr Phillips - 19 March 2020 pdf, 1 page, 32kb

16th March 2020 - The LGPS and stock markets - a message from the Board

There has been a lot of disturbing news lately about the fall in stock markets and the potential resultant impact on defined contribution pensions.

LGPS defined benefit pensions are not linked to stock market performance and are set out in statute.

Although short term investment values may vary, the LGPS as a long-term investor is securely managed to address any longer term impacts.

LGPS Scheme members can therefore be assured that both their contributions and their pension, whether in payment or built up to date, will be unaffected.