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LGPS Advisory Board seeks input on governance standards

The Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board is seeking input from U.K. local authority officers, committee and pension fund chairmen, as well as employer and member representatives, on governance standards.

Aimed at boosting standards among local authority government pension funds, the online survey conducted by Hymans Robertson will ask respondents to comment on four governance models. Respondents will be asked if an improved governance guidance or significant structural changes to governance are needed.

The proposed models include clearer ring-fencing of pension fund management from the host authority — including budgets, resourcing and pay policies, or a joint committee to be formed for all LGPS functions and to be responsible for recommending budget, resourcing and pay policies, according to the survey document provided by Hymans Roberston.

A separate proposed alternative is a single-purpose legal entity that would retain local democratic accountability and be subject to Local Government Act provisions.

The online survey will be supplemented by a series of workshops and a webinar hosted by Hymans Robertson and will take place during May.

The finding of the survey will assist the Scheme Advisory Board with making any proposals that could emerge following a review of best practice across the network.

"This is an opportunity for funds across the country to identify and highlight their own good practices," said Catherine McFadyen, head of LGPS actuarial, benefits and governance at Hymans Roberston, commenting on the launch of the survey.

Ms. McFadyen added in the release: "We hope that this survey will allow us to generate a clearer picture on how key factors such as budget management, clarity of roles and responsibilities, conflict management and the ultimate governance structure of the fund can impact standards of delivery for employers and members."

The online survey runs until May 31. Additional details could not be learned.

Total assets of the LGPS funds stood at 263 billion (343.6 billion), according to the 2018 figures from the advisory board.