News

4th March 2021 - MHCLG letter to authorities on exit cap and further reform

Today MHCLG issued a letter withdrawing its letter of 28th October 2020. More details and a link to the letter can be found on the public sector exit payments page.

2nd March 2021 - Employer Flexibilities guidance published

MHCLG has today published statutory guidance to assist LGPS administering authorities and scheme employers in implementing and operating the regulations on employer flexibilities introduced in September 2020. The guidance covers Regulation 64 (Deferred debt agreement); Regulation 64A (Revision of rates and adjustment certificate) and 64B (Spreading of exit payments). More detailed guidance prepared by the Scheme Advisory Board to be read in conjunction with MHCLG’s statutory guidance has been prepared.

26th February 2021 - exit cap revocation regulations laid

On 25 February 2021 revocation regulations were laid before parliament. More details and a link to the regulations are on the public sector exit payments page.

24th February 2021 - exit cap guides on lgpsregs updated

The guides for administering authorities and employers have been updated in line with legal advice. See the public sector exit payments page. for further information.

19th February 2021 Commentary on legal advice - pre 12 Feb leavers and cash alternative payments

There is now a commentary on legal advice received from the Board's legal advisor in relation to pre Feb 12 leavers and cash alternative payments on the public sector exit payments page.

17th February 2021 - Exit cap guides updated

The Employer and Administering Authority guides on lgpsregs have been updated- see the public sector exit payments page for more information

15th February 2021 - Good Governance report published with Board statement

When it met on the 8th February the Board agreed that the Good Governance – Final Report should be published and for the Chair to submit the Board’s Action Plan  to the Local Government Minister for consideration. See the Good Governance project page for a statement from the Board and more information on the project.

12th February 2021 - Exit cap switched off by HMT

HMT directions have disapplied parts of the exit cap regulations effectively switching off the cap from today in England - see the public sector exit payments page for more information

11th February 2021 - Government launches consultation on minimum pension age

A consultation entitled Increasing the normal minimum pension age: consultation on implementation was launched on 11th February and runs until 22nd April 2021. The consultation proposes that the minimum pension age would increase from 55 to 57 in 2028.

11th February 2021 - Pension Schemes Bill receives royal assent

The Pension Schemes Bill has now received royal assent and becomes the Pension Schemes Act 2021. Elements which will impact on the LGPS include Climate risk reporting and the pensions dashboard.

27th January 2021 - Government launches consultation on climate risk

A policy consultation response and Consultation on regulations entitled Taking action on climate risk: improving governance and reporting by occupational pension schemes was launched today and runs until 10th March 2021. The scope of the regulations do not include the LGPS however regulations are expected from MHCLG to substantially mirror the requirements set out in this document.

13th January 2021 - Exit payments page updated - Impact of Judicial Review timing

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include the impact of the timing of the Judicial Reviews on MHCLG regulations and Pensions Ombudsman cases

4th January 2021 - Exit payments page updated - Judicial Reviews to go ahead

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include news on the Judicial Reviews of the exit cap regulations

9th December 2020 - Exit payments page updated - SAB response to MHCLG draft regulations

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include the SAB response to the draft MHCLG regulations on exit payments and further reform

9th November 2020 - Exit payments page updated - Information for Administering Authorities

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include a link to exit cap information for administering authorities on the lgpsregs.org site

5th November 2020 - Exit payments page updated - Information for Employers

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include a link to exit cap information for employers on the lgpsregs.org site

2nd November 2020 - update to COVID-19 page - Follow up survey results

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with the results of the follow up survey.

30th October 2020 - Exit payments page updated

The public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include a commentary on legal advice received in connection with the introduction of the £95k cap before pension regulations have been amended

28th October 2020 - £95k cap letter

A letter has been sent from the Local Government minister to all administering authorities, in respect of the implementation of the public sector exit payment regulations from 4th November. The Board has also been sent a copy of the letter and are considering its contents alongside legal advice it is currently obtaining on this matter. Once HMT guidance and directions on the cap are published (expected to be later this week) the Board will publish the legal advice together with a commentary for administering authorities and scheme employers.

21st October 2020 - Exit payments page updated

The summary on the public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to include a statement regarding the period of legal uncertainty faced by LGPS administering authorities from 4th November until LGPS regulations are amended

15th October 2020 - Exit cap regulations made

The summary on the public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to take into account the making of the public sector exit payment regulations which will come into force on 4th November.

6th October 2020 - Final SAB McCloud response

The Final SAB response (PDF 19 pages 291kb) to MHCLG's consultation on Local Government Pension Scheme is now available to view and will be submitted by the end of this week: 8 October 2020

28th September 2020 - Draft SAB McCloud response

The Draft SAB response (PDF 20 pages 376kb) to MHCLG's consultation on Local Government Pension Scheme – amendments to the statutory underpin is now available to view. It has been cleared by the Board's McCloud policy group but has been circulated to the full Board for any final comments by the end of this week.

14th September 2020 - Public sector exit payments summary updated

The summary on the public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to take into account the MHCLG consultation on changes required to implement the £95k cap and further reform of compensation payments.

7th September 2020 - MHCLG £95K cap consultation published

MHCLG have today published a consultation on changes to pension and compensation regulations to introduce the £95k cap and elements of further reform of exit payments. The exit payment cap summary will be revised once we have had chance to read through the consultation in detail.

28th August 2020 - SAB Chair responds to TPR funding code consultation

Following on from his letter to the LG minister raising concerns with regard to Clause 123 of the Pensions Schemes Bill the Chair has now written a further letter to TPR in response to their funding code consultation.

27th August 2020 - Employer flexibility regulations published

MHCLG have today laid the regulations on employer contribution and exit payment flexibility which will come into force on 23rd September.

26th August 2020 - Response on employer contribution and exit payment flexibility

MHCLG have today published a partial response to last year's consultation on changes to the local valuation cycle and management of employer risk. The response will be followed shortly by regulations which we expect to come into force in the early autumn. The response includes the review of employer contributions between valuations, spreading exit payments and deferred debt arrangements. The regulations will be accompanied by guidance on the necessary revisions to Funding Strategy Statements and the Board will be inviting practitioner and employer representatives to assist in the development of that guidance.

27th July 2020 - SAB statement on Local Pension Board meeting cancellations

Following concerns raised at a recent Local Pension Board workshop the following statement on the position of local pension boards meeting during the covid-19 emergency has been agreed:- SAB statement on Local Pension Board meeting cancellations (pdf 1 page, 60Kb)

22nd July 2020 - Exit payments cap summary updated

The exit payments cap summary on the public sector exit payments page of this website has now been updated to take into account the HMT response and regulations.

22nd July 2020 - Exit payments cap regulations published

The regulations for capping public sector exit payments have now been published. The regulations are affirmative in nature and therefore will need to be approved by both houses of parliament, they will come into force 21 days after that process is complete. The regulations also contain a schedule of employers covered by the cap. We still await revised HMT directions and guidance on the implementation of the cap and the waiver process.

21st July 2020 - Restricting exit payments in the public sector - 'the £95k cap'

Today the government published its response to the April 2019 consultation on restricting exit payments in the public sector.

20th July 2020 - Statement on equalising male survivor benefits in public service pension schemes

On 20th July the Chief Secretary to the Treasury made a written statement on Public service pensions, survivor benefits for opposite–sex widowers and surviving male civil partners. The statement was in relation to a Teachers Pension Scheme Employment Tribunal case where 'male survivors of female scheme members remain entitled to a lower survivor benefit than a comparable same-sex survivor' and confirmed that 'government believes that this difference in treatment will also need to be remedied in those other public service pension schemes, where the husband or male civil partner of a female scheme member is in similar circumstances.'

17th July 2020 - McCloud Q&A updated

In the light of the publication of the HMT and MHCLG consultations the McCloud page contains a link to the updated Q&A for administering authorities.

17th July 2020 - Pension Schemes Bill - Clause 123

The SAB Chair has written to the Local Government minister expressing support for the principles behind Baroness Bowles amendment to clause 123 of the Pension Schemes Bill which was successfully passed in the Lords. These principles include the recognition of the differing objectives and funding and investment strategies of DB schemes which are open to new members. The LGPS is not subject to those parts of the Pensions Act 2004, which the Bill amends, however the broad powers conferred by the Bill could potentially result in unintended consequences for the scheme, particularly with regard to pressure to change the current funding regime. The secretariat has joined discussions with DWP officials and representatives of private open DB schemes to seek to confirm these principles, preferably on the face of the Bill, should government wish to reverse the Bowles amendment in the commons.

16th July 2020 - MHCLG consultation on McCloud

MHCLG have now published a consultation on changes to the LGPS to meet the requirements of the McCloud case.

A summary of the consultation is available on the McCloud page

16th July 2020 - HMT consultation on McCloud and update on cost cap process

HM Treasury have published a consultation on McCloud and an update on the cost cap process - which will be restarted. Please note a separate consultation has been published for the LGPS on McCloud by MHCLG.

Further information can be found on the McCloud and Cost Management pages of this site.

25th June 2020 - update to COVID-19 page - Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill receives royal ascent

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with information on the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and its potential impact on employer contributions.

19th June 2020 - Cost Transparency Initiative launches additional tools following strong industry take up

A year after the Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI) published a framework of tools and guidance to help institutional investors better understand their investment costs, the initiative is today launching additional resources and encouraging remaining schemes and asset managers to adopt the standards.

Please see the CTI website for more information: CTI launches additional tools following strong industry take up - Press release

8th June 2020 - Summary of Supreme Court boycotts judgement

The legal opinions and summaries page has been updated with a link to a summary of the judgement of the Supreme Court in the LGPS investment guidance boycotts and disinvestment case.

22nd May 2020 - update to COVID-19 page - Governance survey results

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with a link to a results summary of the Covid-19 governance survey.

21st May 2020 - update to COVID-19 page - NHSC Life Assurance Scheme

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with a link to a summary of the NHSC Life Assurance Scheme.

11th May 2020 - SAB issues statement on Supreme Court boycotts judgement

‘The SAB welcomes the clarity brought by the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of R (on the application of Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd and another) Appellants) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Respondent). In seeking to restrict the outcome as well as the considerations taken account of by an LGPS administering authority when developing its responsible investment policy, the government has been judged to have overstepped its powers. It is the Board’s view that Responsible Investment policy decisions belong at the local level reflecting: the need to pay pensions both now and in the future; local democratic accountability and the views of scheme members; and that outcomes of policy developments should not be subject to restrictions based on unrelated matters’

The Board's secretariat and legal advisor have commenced work on a draft summary of the judgement which will be published on this site as soon as it is available.

1st May 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - Governance survey

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with a link to a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on LGPS governance.

29th April 2020 - Supreme Court Judgement on LGPS boycotts

The Supreme Court today handed down its judgement in the case of R (on the application of Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd and another) Appellants) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Respondent) which was originally heard on 20th November 2019. The court found in favour of the appellants and would appear to take the position that the Government has the power to direct authorities on the approach they take to investment decisions but not the investments they make.

A Summary of the judgement (PDF 2 pages 180kb) published by the practice at 11KBW is available - please note this summary is the view of 11KBW not necessarily the Board which has yet to consider the implications of the judgement for itself.

21st April 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - Cash flow survey summary

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with a summary of an LGPS cash flow survey which took place during the first two weeks of April.

17th April 2020 - delay to RPI consultation announced by HMT

Following representations from a number of industry bodies including a letter from the SAB chair (PDF 1 page 85kb) the Chancellor has announced that the consultation on changes to the Retail Price Index will be extended by four months from 22nd April to 21st August

14th April 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - Extension of accounting deadlines

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with links to the regulations extending local authority accounting deadlines and the accompanying explanatory note

9th April 2020 - PIRC provisional LGPS performance 'not the same magnitude as 2008'

Provisional performance figures for 2019/20 from PIRC Local Authority Universe show estimated average returns across its LGPS members (62 funds with an aggregate value of almost £180bn) of around -5% for the year.

This return is of a very different magnitude to the almost 20% falls seen following the dotcom bubble and the financial crisis. The medium term numbers also all still remain positive with 3 year returns at 1.8% pa, 5 yrs at 5.2% pa and 10yrs at 6.9% pa.

7th April 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - LGPS resilience survey and additions to FAQs

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with a summary of a survey on the resilience of LGPS administering authorities to deliver critical processes and the administrator FAQS have been added to.

3rd April 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - TPR guidance and virtual council meetings

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated with links to TPRs guidance of 3rd April for public sector schemes and regulations providing for virtual council meetings

2nd April 2020 - updates to Covid-19 page - FAQs and board statement on valuations

The Covid-19 information and updates page has been updated to link to the FAQ's for scheme administrators and to add a statement from the board on the 2019 valuations in the light of the recent movements in equity markets

1st April 2020 - LGPS Cost Transparency compliance and validation system

Byhiras goes live with the Cost Transparency compliance and validation system for the Scheme Advisory Board. Please see press release below for more:

Press release Byhiras Cost Transparency Platform for LGPS live pdf, 2 pages, 462KB

30th March 2020 - McCloud Q&A updated

Following last week's ministerial statement the Q&A has been updated. Please see the link below:

The McCloud case Q&A for administering authorities page (opens in new window)

26th March 2020 – Ministerial Statement on McCloud

On March 25th Lord Agnew made a ministerial statement regarding progress toward remedy in public service pension schemes following the McCloud/Sergeant age discrimination case. Please go to the McCloud Page for more information on the implications for the LGPS.

25th March 2020 - New Coronavirus and LGPS page

A new page has been added under the scheme developments menu to provide information, updates and links about Covid-19 and its impact on the LGPS click here to open the page

25th February 2020 - Board meeting summary 3rd February 2020

The Board has published a summary of the 3rd February meeting, please see the Board updates page

24th February 2020 - Scheme Advisory Board – Practitioner Representative

The Chair of the Board is pleased to announce that following votes from administering authorities in England and Wales, Rachel Brothwood (West Midlands Pension Fund) has been successful in her nomination as practitioner representative on the Board to fill the vacancy left by Nicola Mark. Commenting on Rachel’s appointment Councillor Roger Phillips said “Stepping into Nicola’s shoes was never going to be an easy task but Rachel joins the board with a wealth of knowledge and experience of the scheme and I know that she will continue to represent scheme practitioners to the same high standard enjoyed by the Board in recent years.”

24th February 2020 - Statement from the Scheme Advisory Board on Responsible Investment Guidance

The Scheme Advisory Board wishes to thank all those who responded to the request for comments on Part 1 of the Responsible Investment draft guidance and has issued a statement regarding the next steps which can be found on the Responsible Investment page

For previous years' news go to the New Archive page