LPFA In The News Archive

As an organisation LPFA will regularly feature in news articles, whether this is to do with topical issues around the Local Government Pension Scheme, or issues specific to LPFA. Have a look at some of the links below......

 

A new era for Shared Services - Professional Pensions, November 2013

The LPFA’s James Wilday discusses how Shared Service Agreements can benefit both members and local authorities.



Equipped to do the job - MJ, November 2013

Managing pension funds is a complex job - and you only need to look at Detroit's debts to see how badly wrong it can go. LPFA Interim Chief Executive, Susan Martin, argues for more training.



New regulations for 2014 - Pensions Insight, October 2013

The LPFA's Mike Allen looks at how LGPS 2014 regulations will affect members.



London pension head seeks new approah - Financial News, November 2013

There is a new look at the London Pensions Fund Authority, one of the UK's largest public pensions funds, and not just at board level. FN's Sarah Krouse met LPFA Chief Investment Officer, Alex Gracian.



A Brighter Future for the LGPS - October 2013

 

The LPFA was encouraged to see the recent announcement of a Call for Evidence into the future of the LGPS explains LPFA Interim Chief Executive, Susan Martin.



LPFA staffs up and readies itself for new strategy - IPE, October 2013

 The LPFA has been undergoing a review of its investment strategy since late-2012 which should lead to an increase of its weighting towards illiquid assets, write IPE in this case study.



Collaboration is what we really need - The MJ, September 2013

Susan Martin offers an insight into how liability driven investment can reduce the volatility of the schemes' investment strategies



Once in a generation opportunity to change the LGPS - Politics First, September 2013

No one said the task of reforming the UK's local authority pension funds was going to be easy, but it appears that progress is finally being made, writes LPFA Interim Chief Executive, Susan Martin.



Superpools: Once in a generation opportunity to change the LGPS - Professional Pensions August 2013

 The LPFA lays out its proposal for reforming the UK’s local authority pension funds in this article that appeared in Professional Pensions on the 15th August 2013.



UBS survey: UK pensions outperformed inflation over past 50 years - Financial Times July 2013

Read the Financial Times article on how UK pensions have outperformed inflation over the past 50 years.

Mike Taylor, chief executive of the £4.6bn London Pensions Fund Authority, says his scheme, which has more than 70 per cent allocated to equity-type investments, has seen returns along these lines over the past 10 years – just under 8 per cent, against inflation of about 3.25 per cent.

“Equities are a good long-term hedge for inflation, but the problem with equities is that they are so volatile you may not get that hedge against inflation in the medium term,” he says.


Mike Taylor: Pension crisis demands pooled funds - LGC July 2013

Read the LGC article by Mike Taylor on the Pensions Crisis and the demand for pooled funds



Political Stage - Pensions World July 2013

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared on the Pensions World website:

Local authority pensions must merge for right reasons

Local Government Minister, Brandon Lewis plans to merge local council pension schemes, but the industry is questioning whether theoretical cost savings and efficiencies will materialise in practice. There is also concern that the move is partly driven by the government’s desire to raid the funds to build new infrastructure.

“It is time to look at how to make the scheme more financially efficient for employers and taxpayers and to ensure it has long term stability and a chance to be part of infrastructure investment opportunities,” says Mr Lewis. “Our scheme is worth more than Ontario Teachers – a much vaunted scheme that invests internationally – yet due to it being so widely split across 89 schemes we simply do not take advantage of the buying power that £150bn (total assets under managemdent) can give.”

Critics counter that there is a big difference between collaborating to save costs and a full blown merger, and that big is rarely beautiful, especially in government. They also argue that as borrowing from pension schemes would keep spending on  infrastructure off central government’s balance sheet, poor investment decisions might be encouraged. The Ontario Teachers scheme helped build the HS1 train line, which is still loss making. The Minister also highlighted publicity around two pieces of research showing that some local authorities pay  much more in fees than others. Analysis by Investor Data Services found that the councils of Devon and Staffordshire both have schemes worth around £2.6bn, but Staffordshire pays more than three times in fees each year. They have a similar allocation to different assets and even hold the same three largest stocks, but the differential, which is equivalent to more than £3.9m a year, has endured for nine years.

The survey findings are more ammunition for those calling for greater transparency from local authority schemes. Even after freedom of information requests, many respondents revealed only data on their spending on brokerage commissions with the names of investment managers and brokers redacted.

“It is difficult to compare the fees paid by different authorities based on their size alone as they will vary according to the investment strategy being followed,” Mark Gayler, investment manager at Devon County Council, told Pensions World. “However, we strive to find the best value for money while achieving the best rates of return.”

The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) also supports the formation of “superpools” of up to £50bn. Mike Taylor, head of the LPFA, cites another piece of research into local authority pensions, which shows that 89 schemes paid £347m to investment managers last year, up 9% on the 2011 figure, but the schemes themselves increased in value by just 4%.

The Labour Party also says it would impose mergers on small pension schemes which have underdelivered, along the lines of recent Australian legislation, and has also argued that in Canada and the Netherlands, pension schemes finance huge long term housing and infrastructure projects which deliver great benefits.

 

The full article can be viewed here.

 



Consolidation, shift to alternatives, seen for UK pension funds - Pensions & Investments June 2013

Read the Pensions & Investments article on Proposals to restructure the U.K.'s Local Government Pension Scheme system

 



NAPF Local Authority Conference Report - May 2013

NAPF’s 9th Local Authority Conference, Mike Taylor spoke about the main challenges facing the LGPS, and what the NAPF should be doing to help members meet them.



LPFA close to full funding - The MJ May 2013

The article below featured in the MJ on the 8th May 2013:

LPFA close to full funding

The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has today released provisional figures showing the 2013 valuation indicates a 95% funding level – despite the scheme’s active membership plummeting by one eighth since 2010.

The LPFA oversees a £4.7bn pension fund providing Local Government Pension Scheme benefits to nearly 20,000 staff at not for profit organisations such as charities, universities and schools and 40,000 pensioners who worked for the Greater London Council and the Inner London Education Authority.

According to an initial assessment undertaken by Barnett Waddingham, a better asset and liability strategy, good investment returns and strong management of interest rate and inflation risks have all compensated for the fact scheme members are living longer.

However, overall membership levels are slightly smaller than the last valuation, the actuaries found.  Austerity measures and resulting opt-outs and job losses have seen the LPFA’s active membership decrease by 12.5% since the last valuation, while deferred members increased by 2% and pensioner members increased by 3.5%

‘The positive indicative results of our 2013 valuation reflect the expertise and commitment of the entire team at LPFA,’ said LPFA chief executive Mike Taylor.

‘We have worked hard in recent months to refine our asset and liability strategy, and are delighted to see that these efforts are already paying dividends.'

Further articles relating to this news item include:

http://www.globalinvestormagazine.com/Article/3202737/LPFA-fund-close-to-full-funding.html

http://www.govtoday.co.uk/local-government-news/20-communities/15817-2013-valuation-shows-lpfa-at-close-to-full-funding


LDI switch boosts London scheme funding - Pensions Age May 2013

Read the Pensions Age article on LDI switch boosting London scheme funding.

LPFA CEO Mike Taylor, said: “We have worked hard in recent months to refine our asset and liability strategy, and are delighted to see that these efforts are already paying dividends.”

 



Mike Taylor Interview re Securities Lending - Global Investor July 2013

Mike Taylor, chief executive of the £4.6bn London Pensions Fund Authority, talks to Andrew Sheen about the scheme’s securities lending activity



Guide to Public Sector Pensions 2013 - A Proactive Approach - Pensions Age May 2013

 Read the Pensions Age article on Guide to Public Sector Pensions 2013 - A Proactive Approach



London Calling: LPFA's Truell on infrastructure and integration - Professional Pensions April 2013

 Read the Professional Pensions article on Edmund Truell's views on infrastructure and integration



The limits of investment - Professional Pensions April 2013

Q&A with Mike Taylor and Mike Allen discusses amended rules for LGPS.



LGPS Auto-enrolment and beyond - Professional Pensions April 2013

 John Crowhurst of the LPFA looks at the changes funds have faced in recent times. Full article here.



LPFA targets infrastructure, liabilities with Board appointments - Professional Pensions April 2013

 LPFA has made three Board appointments, with the aim of driving forward infrastructure investment and liability management within the fund. Professional Pensions talked to LPFA Chairman, Edmund Truell. Read the full article here.



Checking the Employer Covenant - Pensions Age April 2013

Tony Williams sheds light on the LPFA’s work to monitor employer covenant risk



LPFA sign up to Pension Infrastructure Project (PIP)

LPFA has become the tenth signatory to the UK-focused infrastructure project that will deliver long-term, inflation-linked returns and boost economic growth. Each of the ten founding investors has made a soft commitment of £100m to the PIP, subject to the development of the PIP being completed satisfactorily.

The umbrella body the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) is backing the project, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2013. The project will inject pension fund money into British infrastructure to support an ailing economy.

The PIP enables pension funds to diversify their investments for higher returns amid low yields on government bonds and rising life expectancy. 



Shake Up For London Pensions - FTFM Feb 13

Edmund Truell, LPFA's Chairman, gives an insight into plans to merge LGPS funds in London and the benefits that could bring. FTFM Article 18th February 2013



Joining Forces - Article on fund consolidation by Anthony Hilton Feb 13

Significant savings and better returns could be achieved if pensions schemes merged into larger units says Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard



2013 Valuation - are you prepared? Feb 13 Pensions Insight

Tony Williams explains how pension schemes can prepare for their actuarial valuations