Local government pension funds, not ministers should decide where to invest their members’ money, says UNISON
Local government pension funds must be able to decide where to invest their money in the best interests of present and future pensioners, and should not have their investment decisions dictated by the government, says UNISON
Ministers have drawn up plans to enable the 89 funds that make up the local government pension scheme (LGPS) to pool their combined assets so that they are large enough to invest in huge infrastructure projects.
To allow the LGPS funds to invest in big projects like new motorways, bridges or housing developments, the government wants to see the creation of wealth pools that are at least £25bn in size.
While UNISON is not opposed to the funds coming together so they can invest on a grander scale, the union is much less enthusiastic about the government being able to direct where scheme members’ money is invested.
It must be the combined funds – and not government ministers – that decide where to invest scheme members’ future incomes, in ways that are in their best interests, and not that of the government, says UNISON.
The union believes union-nominated representatives should be appointed to the new pool governance structures so that any investment works for the millions of teaching assistants, refuse collectors, homecare workers and other town hall workers whose pensions are held by the scheme, says UNISON.