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PLSA launches best practice guide for Government pension schemes

31 March 2017

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The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched a guide for employers participating in a Local Government Pension Scheme.

The guide, A guide for employers participating in the LGPS: Best practice, is the second is a series of guides for the schemes.

It aims to give an overview of the financial commitments, administrative responsibilities, and regulatory requirements that employers face once they have joined.

PLSA says with an 11% increase in membership of the £217bn scheme between 2014 and 2015, helping new employers navigate the LGPS is becoming more important.

Joe Dabrowski, head of governance & investment for the PLSA, said the membership increase of the last few years is down to an increase in the number of scheduled and admission bodies joining the LGPS.

Scheduled bodies include academies, county councils, London boroughs, post-92 Universities and further education colleges, all of which participate in the local government pension.

Scheduled bodies have an automatic right and requirement to be an employer in the LGPS.

The larger numbers joining the LGPS is driven in part by the conversion of many schools into academies, but the PLSA says often they are not given the information they need about the scheme.

"It's often not made clear to them why they're joining the scheme, which can make employer engagement difficult for the LGPS and can result in new employers underestimating their obligations, particularly with regards to data requests," saidDabrowski.

"The new guide aims to explain what is required of employers in simple terms, offering explanations of pension terminology where necessary."

The first guide provided scheduled bodies with an introduction to the LGPS and local government contractors with help navigating entry into the LGPS.

To develop the guidance, the PLSA had the support of a steering group to develop of experts from across a wide range of employers participating in the LGPS, as well as advisors who work extensively with both employers and funds.

First published 31.03.2017

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com