Public sector pensions: progress, preparation and perspectives

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We were delighted to host over 40 clients and other LGPS representatives in our new London office for our pre-2019 valuation seminar on 27 September 2018. Alongside me and Ross Anderson, the line-up included Jeff Houston of LGA, Gary Delderfield of Eversheds and 2018 Pensions Personality of the Year, Malcolm McLean.

Online data checker

Our new online data checker tool was launched at the seminar - which helps Funds to concentrate on only the most important valuation data issues; perfect ahead of the 2019 valuation. Our intelligent “tell us once” feature means that we’ll never ask you the same query twice. Associate, Ross Anderson, demonstrated the clear benefits to delegates, emphasising the importance of ‘clean’ data, as well as getting data to your actuary on time to ensure timely results at valuation time.

We have already started working with some of our Funds on cleansing data in advance of the valuation date. With the additional oversight of the Pensions Regulator this time around, we would encourage all Funds to do the same.

The latest in the Local Government Association

Jeff Houston, Head of Pensions at LGA, gave us all an insight into the latest dealings of the LGA, including an update on the cost cap management process in the LGPS and explaining to the delegates how the LGPS Scheme valuation will be in 2020 whereas the individual Fund valuations will remain at 2019.

2019 valuations for LGPS funds

After confirming to delegates that there will be a 2019 valuation for all the Funds in the LGPS, I outlined the main happenings since the 2016 valuation to consider as part of the 2019 valuation. Notably, I gave an update as to where the trend in current funding positions are and our initial thoughts around the results of the 2019 valuation. The focus of the next few months is data and the new online data checker will play a major part in that. We are keen to work with Funds to help them iron out any concerns they have over data in advance of the valuation and we have started our pre-valuation meetings.

Legal news in the public sector

Gary Delderfield, partner and head of public sector pensions at Eversheds, gave us a legal update and it was particularly interesting to hear about how much dealings he has had with employers since the Amendment Regulations came into force on 14 May 2018 regarding exit credits, for more information on exit credits please see our briefing note.

The current pensions landscape

Malcolm McLean spoke about the current pensions landscape outside of the LGPS. Giving us updates on the changes to state pensions, Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation and auto-enrolment to name a few, there was plenty to talk about. He also highlighted the importance of good communication in the pensions world and why so many of us are not very good at it… he pleaded for less jargon please, remember 'Trivial Commutation' is not a board game!

Feedback from the event was positive - with a special thanks to associate, Annemarie Allen, for hosting the day and to our head of public sector, Graeme Muir for chairing the event.

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