By April 2015 every Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) fund in England, Scotland and Wales must establish a fund board with half the seats going to scheme members. This is a historic phase in member involvement in the running of your pension fund.
UNISON has been campaigning for over 7 years for members to be involved in the decision-making processes of the LPGS funds. Every other pension fund in the UK has member representatives, many nominated by their trade union.
We need UNISON members, like you, to step up and take on this exciting role.
The draft legislation has just been issued but here is a Q&A to help you through the issues.
Who can be reps? You will have to be an LGPS scheme member or pensioner.
Will there be training? Yes, you must do union training and your pension fund will train you. There are two union courses: one on benefits/administration and one on governance/investments.
Why do I need training? The regulations will instruct you to be trained and be knowledgeable of your scheme within 6 months of becoming a rep – the union will support you throughout the process.
Will I get time off? Yes, your pension fund will pay your employer for your time off and your expenses.
What will my role be? You will represent scheme members and pensioners and advise and assist your pension fund to make decisions that ensure pensioners are paid, administration and investments are efficient and effective.
How are reps chosen? Your UNISON region will ensure you are nominated, and then you will either be elected or appointed to your fund board. In order to be nominated you must have undertaken union training.
How will I be supported by UNISON? There is an officer and lead rep in every region and a national officer to provide support. You will also get access to a UNISON website full of materials and discussions with board members from the UK. There is support from the West Sussex branch too as the Branch Secretary Dan Sartin is the member representative on the West Sussex Pension Panel.
Being a UNISON Rep on the new Pension Board will be an important and rewarding role, and there already UNISON members doing it. You are responsible for something that matters hugely to members whose interests you represent – the security of their pension at a cost they can afford.
UNISON members from any employer in the West Sussex LGPS can get involved (not just West Sussex County Council) – and so can UNISON retired members too, as long as they are current LGPS members receiving a pension.
The union is holding a seminar for members from all regions and branches on the governance and economics of the LGPS.
Friday 12th December, 10.30am to 4.30pm
UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY
Subjects for presentation and discussion include:
- LGPS governance today
- The LGPS advisory board and fund boards
- The LGPS Board organising challenge
- Costs and performance of the LGPS funds from 2009-2013
- Understanding and challenging transaction costs
- Fiduciary duty what is it – what does it mean for the LGPS?
- Responsible investing a trade union perspective
The West Sussex branch will cover all expenses incurred and lunch is provided.
Please get in touch with the Branch if you are interested in attending this training and getting involved as a Pension Board rep.