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2008 Retired Members' Conference
24 June 2008
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that UNISON has established policy to undertake work to develop, train and elect members to become effective trustees or member representatives of private and public pension funds.

The importance of member involvement can be illustrated by the Local Government Scheme (LGPS). Collectively the LGPS would be the largest pension fund in the UK with around 130 billion pounds worth of investments.

Although benefits are given a statutory guarantee and the scheme is funded, there is no right to member nominated representatives as there is for all other funded schemes.

Conference notes the national LGPS representation and governance campaign and in particular the demand for the scheme to be brought into line with the EU Pensions Directive 41/2003 Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision.

The role and importance of trade union representatives on LGPS investment committees is therefore crucial to make sure the funds are well managed and not used as an excuse for reducing benefits for active members in the future.

Conference further notes that the members of pension schemes consist of both contributors and beneficiaries. Retired Members as beneficiary members of pension schemes have an interest in how the fund is run and should have involvement as Member Nominated Trustees (MNTs) or Member Nominated Representatives (MNRs).

Conference therefore calls on the National Retired Members’ Committee to pursue through the National Executive Council the following:

i.Encouragement of retired members to participate in pension fund/scheme governance as MNTs/MNRs;

ii.Provision for training of retired member MNTs/MNRs;

iii.Continued pressure on government and employers to enhance the rights of all members over governance of their schemes;

iv.Continued pressure on government and employers to achieve best practice in scheme governance, auditing, reporting, communications with members and the development of progressive investment policies that reflect the environmental, social and governance aspirations of scheme members.