Campaigning for a fair deal for LGPS members

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2008 Local Government Service Group Conference
22 February 2008
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that Statutory Instrument 2007, number 1166, issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) which outlined the ‘new look’ LGPS, stated that “Administering and employing authorities shall have regard to guidance to be issued by the Secretary of State, before 31 March 2009, as to the manner in which the costs of the scheme will be met after 31 March 2010”. This clause was inserted without warning or consultation with the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) unions.

Conference further notes that CLG has established a Policy Review Group (PRG) to develop future policy on the LGPS. The LGPS Trade Union Side representation is limited to one seat each for UNISON, GMB, UNITE, Aspect and the TUC.

Within the Policy Review Group, the Government is now pressing for a cost-sharing mechanism to be agreed, with a view to consultation in 2009. UNISON and the other unions reached agreement with the CLG, the LGA and the LGE in 2006 that the stakeholders would consider life expectancy, ill health retirement, lump sum commutation levels and the financial health of the LGPS at each triennial valuation and decide whether any adjustments were necessary. CLG has ignored this agreement and is now seeking a formula for cost-sharing. UNISON and the other PRG unions have repeatedly stressed our opposition to such a formula.

The ongoing absence of data on which such a formula could be based is also of great concern. We have also asked CLG and the Government Actuaries Department to ensure that any future actuarial assumptions reflect the requirements of the public sector equality duties.

In light of this, Conference calls on the CLG, LGA and LGE to:

1)Honour the agreement reached on cost-sharing in 2006;

2)Provide all the requested information on the LGPS and scheme membership before any further discussion takes place;

3)Provide detailed information to UNISON and the other unions on GAD’s actuarial assumptions and the rationale behind them;

4)Provide information on administration and investment costs across the LGPS;

5)Take into account the unique saving represented by investment income.

Conference calls on UNISON and other trade union representative on the PRG and LGPS funds to:

a)Continue to assert the agreement on cost-sharing reached previously with the LGA, LGE and CLG;

b)Campaign for a fair approach to cost-sharing, which takes investment income and administration costs into account;

c)Continue to attend the PRG to monitor developments and report back to members;

d)Work with independent actuaries and other bodies to ensure that all available information is made available to provide transparency in negotiations;

e)Ensure that the Equality Duties are complied with