The Local Government Pension Scheme fund | Oxfordshire County Council

The Local Government Pension Scheme fund

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

The Pension Fund Committee is responsible for the pension fund's investment arrangements. This committee of elected council members is advised by the Director of Finance and an independent financial advisor.

A beneficiaries' representative also attends the committee. This representative can participate in discussions but has no voting powers. Unison appoints this beneficiaries' representative, currently Philip Wilde.  His report of the latest meeting is below:

Philip introduces himself here (pdf format,13Kb). You can contact him by phone at the UNISON Branch Office in County Hall 01865 815990 or email: philip.wilde@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

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 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.

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

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

Pension Fund Committee

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

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 including:

  • Investment Strategy Statement  
  • Funding Strategy Statement
  • Communication Policy Statement
  • Pension Administration Policy
  • Governance Compliance Statement
  • Statements of policy about exercise of discretionary functions.

Not everything in this list is compulsory, however the intention is to adopt the best practice models.

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.

Annual Fund Forum

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

Pension Fund Actuarial Valuation

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.

Pension Services are developing a website from which members will be able to access their own pension record, see certain scheme documents, including benefit statements and pensioners will see their own pension pay advice.

All members – active, deferred and pensioner will be able to have a secure log in to record their own changes to personal details on their pension record.

Pensioner registration began March 2017 and is now offered to all new pensioners as part of the retirement notification.  

Ultimately, we will reduce the amount of paper-based notices as main scheme documents and individual notices will be available from this secure section of the website.  Members will be able to register to maintain the current methods of communication.

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.

Brunel Pension Partnership (Project Brunel - Investment Pooling)

In 2015 the government announced that they wanted the 89 Local Government Pension Scheme  funds to pool their investments into larger pools in order 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. The pool will look to deliver the savings based upon the collective buying power the collaboration initiative will produce. Local accountability will be maintained as each individual fund will remain responsible for strategic decisions including asset allocation. The pooling of assets will only affect the implementation of the investment strategy in terms of manager appointments.

The Brunel Pension Partnership Limited company has now been established, with each of the ten founding administering authorities holding 10% of the share capital.  The eight Company Board members have all been appointed and work is in progress to recruit the remainder of staff and appoint key partners, in particular the Administrator/Custodian.  It is still hoped to begin to transfer assets from April 2018.

More information and updates about the project are on the Project Brunel website

Additionally, the local government employers association have prepared question and answer sheets about ‘pooling’      

Last reviewed
03 August 2017
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