The Local Government Pension Scheme fund

Managing the fund - rules, regulations, reports, accounts and policy statements.

Formal statement and references

The LGPS is a tax approved, defined benefit, occupational pension scheme with regulations made under the Superannuation Act 1972. In the future scheme regulations will be made under Public Service Pension Schemes Act 2013.

The LGPS is a registered public service pension scheme under Chapter 2 of Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004. It achieved automatic registration by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 36 of that Act (because the scheme was, immediately before 6 April 2006, both a retirement benefits scheme approved under Chapter I of Part XIV of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and a relevant statutory scheme under section 611A of that Act). It complies with the relevant provisions of the Pension Schemes Act 1993, the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2004.

The LGPS meets the government's standards under the automatic enrolment provisions of the Pensions Act 2008 and holds a certificate issued by the scheme actuary to certify it satisfies the cost of accruals test.

Key details

  • Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund’s Pension Scheme Registration number is PSR10079154
  • Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund’s Pension Scheme Tax reference number is PSTR00328822RP.  
  • Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund’s Contracted-out References are S2700165T and E3900002R. Contracting out ceased from April 2016.

Pension Fund Committee

The committee of elected council members is advised by the Director of Finance and an independent financial advisor and is responsible for the pension fund's investment arrangements. Browse meetings, agendas and latest members.

The Pension Fund Committee meets quarterly. You can view papers from the latest meeting.

Beneficiaries' representative

A beneficiaries' representative also attends the committee. This representative can participate in discussions but has no voting powers. Unison appoints this beneficiaries' representative, currently Anya Greig.

Anya introduces herself and how to contact her (pdf format, 109Kb)

Scheme of delegation

The Pension Fund Scheme of Delegation (pdf format, 152KB) is the formal record of authorisation by the council to specific named posts to exercise the powers and functions of the council.

The fund's global custodian

The fund has an independent global custodian, BNP Parabas, whose main duties include the safekeeping of the fund's investments, the collection of income and the execution of corporate actions, such as company mergers or takeovers.

Managers of the fund's assets

Most of the fund's assets are managed by external managers:

  • Baillie Gifford manages UK equities
  • Legal and General manages bonds and passive equities
  • UBS Global Asset Management and Wellington manages global equities, with UBS also managing property.

Rules and regulations

Oxfordshire County Council has a legal duty to set up, maintain, administer and pay all benefits from the pension fund. There are rules that set out what the council should do to achieve those duties. The scheme rules have recently changed and these pages will continue to reflect this as new formal documents are adopted and any procedural changes introduced.

The new scheme covering membership, contributions and benefits is contained within:

  • The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013

Elements from the previous regulations which are carried forward-saved to support a member's protected pension provisions are now found in:

  • The Local Government Pension Scheme (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014, which also cross refers to all other saved areas in earlier regulations.

The scheme rules for fund investment are now contained within:

  • The Local Government Pension Scheme (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 2016

To help promote transparency and accountability for the pension fund stakeholders, these rules ask administering authorities - Oxfordshire County Council to prepare, maintain and publish the formal strategies, statements and reports.

Annual reports and accounts

All employers in the pension fund receive a copy of the annual reports and accounts. Newsletters to scheme members and pensioners give links to this page or invite members to ask for a printed copy, if required.

Brunel Pension Partnership (Investment Pooling)

In 2015 the government announced that they wanted the 89 Local Government Pension Scheme funds to pool their investments into larger pools to achieve savings in investment management costs.

In response to the government agenda, Project Brunel was set up to explore the options for pooling investment assets across ten funds. The founding funds include The Environment Agency Pension Fund, and the Local Government Funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The collective assets of the pool are approximately £23 billion.

The objective of pooling the assets is to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the investment assets. 

Brunel Pension Partnership was established in July 2017, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct authority as a full service MiFID firm.

More information and updates about the Partnership are on the website www.brunelpensionpartnership.org

Question and answer sheets about ‘pooling’ for:   

Annual Fund Forum

Once a year there is the opportunity for scheme employers, members of the pension fund committee and the local pension board to meet, take part in discussions prompted by topical presentations, and hear first hand about the fund's performance.

The presentation slides from the January 2019 forum (pdf format, 2.2Mb)

Pension Fund Actuarial Valuation

Will the fund valuation be affected by Brexit?

The 2019 valuation takes place at 31 March 2019, right around the time when the UK is expected to leave the EU.  We’re sure it won’t have escaped you that it is still very difficult to say what form Brexit will take, so we expect the financial markets to be jittery as they react to unfolding events.  As the fund is invested in growth seeking assets, volatility short term financial markets will have a direct impact on employers’ asset shares and hence their funding positions, with several implications for your valuation results and financial disclosures this year:

  • Long-term employers (those remaining in the fund for the foreseeable future i.e. councils, academies, colleges, etc) – our actuary will set contribution rates using a long-term approach which is impacted less by market conditions on the day of the valuation itself.  For these employers we do not therefore expect Brexit to have a meaningful impact on employer contributions as the approach means we can let employers ‘ride out’ any short term volatility.
  • Short-term employers (those looking to leave the fund in the foreseeable future) – for these employers the funding position is much more important as they look to leave the fund without a deficit.  Brexit may make this more difficult if it leads to a fall in the value of the fund’s assets and/or an increase in liabilities (perhaps due to higher expected inflation).  As in the past, the fund may use its discretion to help employers in this situation, perhaps by allowing them to spread any final pensions debt over a few years and hope that markets recover.
  • Financial disclosures – accounting results depend on market conditions at the start and end of the accounting period, so Brexit will have a direct impact this year and next year (particularly for employers with 31 March reporting dates).  There is little flexibility in the FRS102/IAS19 standards to do anything about this, so employers should expect volatility in their accounting results.

Investment strategy statement

The Investment Strategy Statement is a written statement of the principles governing decisions about investment, including the current asset allocation, the approach to managing investment risks, the Fund’s environmental, social and governance policy  and the policy on exercising voting rights.

Funding Strategy Statement

This statement sets out Oxfordshire Pension Fund's strategy on how it will identify and meet the costs for providing LGPS pensions for employees in the future.

Communication Policy Statement

This policy sets out the Oxfordshire Pension Fund's strategy for its communications with members, members' representatives and employing authorities.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Administration Strategy.

My Oxfordshire Pension website

Active members, members with a deferred pension and pensioners can now sign up for access to their pension record on the secure My Oxfordshire Pension website.

Registration for pensioners began on 2017, and continues for all new pensioners as part of their retirement notification

All new members joining the LGPS receive information about logging into their secure record. The 2018 annual statements are there to view. Members can choose to only receive information by post to their home address, but must write to advise Pension Services of their decision. .

Governance policy statement

This statement includes information about the make up of the Pension Fund Committee and the roles and responsibilities of this committee. The statement shows you the steps the council is taking to comply with the governance policy.

Statements of policy about exercise of discretionary functions

The administering authority, Oxfordshire County Council, has prepared their statement to show the areas they are required to hold a policy and the conditions to be satisfied in applying it. The administering authority is also required to act on decisions as if an employer, when the member’s employer is no longer active in this fund. The attached paper also refers to these areas.