LGC’s quarterly report on Local Government Pension Scheme investment is now available online.
As the delegates gather for this year’s LGC Pension Fund Symposium (20-21 July), they will likely breathe a sigh of relief at having made their final submissions to the government on pension fund pooling.
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The pooling initiative has dominated every aspect of LGPS management for the past two years. Although the journey is clearly far from over, with most funds having not yet begun to transfer assets into their pools, the July deadline at least draws to a close a period of uncertainty, confusion and intense negotiation, both between funds and with central government.
Fittingly, in LGC’s quarterly special report several expert authors turn their attention to how investment, governance and the relationship between local and central government will work under the new regime. Staffordshire CC’s Andrew Burns, for instance, highlights the importance of getting the governance of pools right now, during the arrangements’ formative years, to prevent problems further down the line.
Fund officers and elected members have worked hard over this period not only to get pooling right for their funds and for the scheme as a whole, but also to keep up with the demands of the day job. The special report also includes an interview with LGPS Advisory Board chair Roger Phillips, highlighting the rest of the issues facing the scheme that still must be tackled, from deficits to rising employer numbers. In a separate feature in the report, we examine the state of the scheme as presented in the board’s latest annual report.
Reform to the structure of the scheme does not mean that funds can take their eyes off the ball when it comes to investing wisely for scheme members’ future, and in this report, Man Group’s Harry Skaliotis explores the possibilities of achieving returns via liquid alternatives; we report on an LGC roundtable exploring environmental, social and governance issues, sponsored by Goldman Sachs Asset Management; and we explore the latest thinking on emerging markets as these assets recover from a long period of underperformance.