Working for Decent Pensions

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2018 Local Government Service Group Conference
21 February 2018
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises that our occupational pensions are deferred wages and that it is essential that UNISON and its members are actively involved in the governance of our pension schemes and funds.

Conference congratulates those members who represent UNISON on the many of the boards of the LGPS schemes. This is a critical role and UNISON must ensure that these representatives are fully supported in their role.

Conference welcomes the progress that UNISON has achieved in relation to the transparency of the costs of the investments of our pension funds. We note the success in the LGPS in England and Wales and in the Scottish LGPS of promoting the Transparency Codes and that most of the investment managers have agreed to adopt the code and report fully on all costs.

Conference believes that this gives the pension boards the opportunity to drive down these costs to the benefit of the funds and the fund members.

Conference notes that most investment management is done through external organisations. We believe there is merit in bringing much of this work ‘in-house’ and that there are existing examples of where this has proved to be the case.

Conference welcomes the launch of our campaign to help our members call for and engage with their LGPS pension fund to deal with climate change through the investment assets they hold. The Local Government Pension Funds – Divest from Carbon Campaign: A UNISON Guide provides details of the impact of climate change and the role that our pension funds play in contributing to the problem whilst laying out details of how branches and regions can campaign to influence pension boards to adopt a divestment strategy.

Conference calls on the local government service group executive to work with the NEC to ensure:

1)That we continue to campaign for representation on all LGPS boards and other bodies such as the Pools and Advisory Boards;

2) That all UNISON representatives on these boards are fully supported and resourced to fulfil their role, including being able to report to branches on pension board issues;

3) That there is a continued drive to ensure that transparency is real and that boards vigorously examine all costs in order to protect the interests of fund members;

4) That material is produced to take forward a campaign to increase the ‘in-house’ investment capability of pension boards;

5) That all regions take forward the Divestment from Fossil Fuels campaigns and that branches are supported to take up this issue with boards and councillors.