Government needs to change the law around council pension powers, says UNISON

Published May 11, 2016 at 11:20

The government has failed to listen to more than 70,000 signatories to a UNISON-backed parliamentary petition calling for it to be written into UK law that it is up to council pension funds to decide where they invest their cash, says UNISON today (Wednesday).

The petition on the parliamentary website urges the government to amend UK law with a European directive that says only the 89 individual funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) can decide where to invest the current and future pensions of five million retired and existing town hall staff.

While the government has acknowledged that local authorities need to invest in the best interests of current and future pensioners in its response, it has stopped short of changing the law to reflect this, says UNISON.

This ignores the advice of both the Law Commission and the England/Wales LGPS Scheme Advisory Board, says UNISON.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Ministers have failed to address the key point of the parliamentary petition, which wants it written into law that council pension funds, not the government, should decide where LGPS funds are invested in the best interests of scheme members.

“It’s up to council pension funds to decide where to get the best return on their investments. Council pension funds must be able to make their own decisions, not be told where to put their cash by ministers.

“We await the publication of new investment regulations, and hope that the government will amend the law so that council pension funds know it is down to them where to invest their cash.”

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