PLSA LA Conference: PLSA launches LGPS research project

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched a research project to assess the Local Government Pension Scheme’s (LGPS) best practices and future challenges.

Speaking at the PLSA Local Authority Conference 2021, PLSA chief executive, Julian Mund, said the research would look at the ‘state of the nation’ and has four “headline” objectives.

The first objective is to develop an understanding of the primary issues and challenges facing the operation of the scheme.

It will also look to establish a base of understanding to measure against future years and identify best practices or gaps in effective operations.

Finally, it will aim to assess where additional clarity is needed through guidance from the regulators and the government, and identify how the scheme may evolve in the future.

“If you were working in local authority pensions in 2005, would you have known what the landscape of the LGPS would be today?” Mund continued.

“Of course, the same ever-present issues would have been influencing the direction of travel – resources, administration, governance, regulation.

“But that was well before the wave of change that began in 2014 with the switch to a career average scheme and the origins of pooling. And before the headache created by the McCloud judgment could even be imagined.

“We’ve been speaking to our members about the issues they’re dealing with today. And they’re looking to the future and asking how they can secure the long-term sustainability of your fund and the LGPS. And the PLSA is listening.

“We’re working together with our members to make sure LGPS issues are recognised, and we’re going to act on what we’ve heard. It’s why we’re launching a new research project to look at the state of the nation and the future challenges for the LGPS.”

The issues the research is looking to address include getting the guidance funds will require, attracting the talent they want, and reducing the administrative burden from “complex” regulation.

The research will be conducted through a series of roundtables, a survey and case studies, as well as through the production the PLSA’s policy work in this area.

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