The UK’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) advisory board has named its deputy chairman and commissioned work looking into how proposed reforms to English schools might affect local authority funds.
The board, which named Roger Phillips chairman in February, elected Jon Richards as deputy chair in a special meeting last month, Phillips told stakeholders in a letter sent last week.
Richards is a national secretary for education and children’s services at union Unison and sits on the board representing the interests of English and Welsh LGPS members.
Additionally, the board commissioned work on the impact of transforming all existing English schools into academies, a structure that removes control of the school from the local authority.
The research is likely to examine the impact of around 20,000 schools’ being forced to become academies, and how the trusts responsible for the schools might deal with legacy deficits.
The board said it approached the Association of Local Authority Treasurers, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and the Trades Union Congress about filling three statutory non-voting positions remaining on the board.
“A further paper,” Phillips’s letter says, “will be taken to the next meeting to discuss if and how the board may wish to appoint advisers and extend invitations for individuals or organisations to observe meetings.”
Phillips added that the board would maintain two committees in future – one dealing with cost management and scheme design, the other tackling investment, engagement and governance matters.
A pre-existing deficit working group will also be retained, he said.
The advisory board was launched three years ago to encourage collaboration among local authority funds in England and Wales.
It has an equivalent in Scotland but not in Northern Ireland, which only has one LGPS – the Northern Ireland Government Officers Superannuation Scheme.