Latest Public Sector News

30.11.17

Transport giant becomes first to consolidate LGPS assets under one £1bn pot

A major transport operator has become the first private sector employers to consolidate its funds within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in a landmark £1bn decision.

FirstGroup, which operates bus and train services across the country, has successfully consolidated its pension schemes’ assets within the LGPS, a move which will involve a £700m asset transfer from two English LGPS funds (West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire) into the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to form a major £1bn cash pot.

The decision will bring FirstGroup’s three English LGPS funds under one single administrating authority in an attempt to drive down costs and align the funding and investment strategies across the schemes.

It is also in line with the government’s ambition to spur efficiencies across the pension landscape by merging the country’s many LGPS funds. Former chancellor George Osborne was a major advocate for this, announcing in 2015 that the government would work with councils to create just a dozen ‘wealth funds’ spread across the country instead of keeping 89 different pension funds.

Richard Murray, group head of pensions at FirstGroup, said: “Initially we thought that a consolidation within the LGPS would only be possible for public sector employers, but working together with Hymans Robertson, we made a case for FirstGroup, as a private sector employer to do the same. 

“FirstGroup has a longstanding relationship with all three LGPS Funds and worked closely with them and their advisers to achieve this consolidation. Through the process we received support from all our stakeholders and this culminated in approval by the secretary of state.

“The success of this consolidation is in no small part a result of these great working relationships.”

The consolidation will allow the company to better manage risks across its LGPS schemes, Murray added, thus giving it “greater control over investment strategy” and “an improved balance sheet.”

Cllr Kieran Quinn, chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and executive leader of Tameside MBC, who wrote two articles for PSE about the changing landscape of the LGPS in August and December last year, also commented: “Greater Manchester Pension Fund is proud once again to be chosen as the fund of choice for both the workforce and employers. 

“We continue to drive forward and innovate with our stakeholders to provide sustainable and affordable pensions for workers who deliver vital public services, such as public transport, which keep the economy of this country moving.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >