- 2013 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 18 February 2013
Local Government Conference 2013
LGPS Full Voting Rights for Union Nominated Representatives
Conference through the ongoing governance negotiations we must ensure that we achieve full membership and voting rights for Unison nominated LGPS representatives to local Pension Panel boards. The 1989 Local Government Housing Act, section 13, gives union representative full membership participation.
With 4,600,000 members in 99 regional pension funds and over £150bn in pension pots built from the deferred wages of scheme members we must ensure that there is good governance and transparency in the running of the schemes. The U.K. is a founder and permanent member of the UN Security Council and yet 24 years later most council’s are not complying with UNPRI governance on Responsible Investment
Our demand is for at least one-third of seats on pension fund Boards to be held by voting TU representatives and that these representatives must receive facility time to undertake these duties and be given full appropriate ‘myners’ training.
Members are seriously concerned about governance, dispute resolutions and discretion. We are aware of proposals to merge more than 100 funds into five regional funds, and proposals for the 33 London borough schemes to be merged into one fund which would have more than £20bn of assets; we must ensure there are appropriate checks and balances in place through voting TU representatives participating in decisions when so much is at stake.
Conference there have been, and continue to be, issues of concern about; ethical investment, fund management costs, local investment and worthwhile returns and funds soon to be used for up to £10bn of loans guarantees for housing.
Decisions relating to these assets can no longer be left in the hands of unaccountable pension panel members. Very few LGPS members know who are on these boards. A limited number of schemes have introduced lay members with full voting rights, but now this must be rolled out across all schemes, so governance, democracy and transparency can be assured.
Conference resolves to ensure that our negotiators argue for
1)A requirement that at least one third of the seats on all pension boards must be filled by voting Trade Union members.
2)Facility time be afforded to those participating in this TU duty
3)The provision of training to representatives sitting on these boards.