The Lancashire County Pension Fund, with assets worth £9.4bn (€11bn), has launched its strategic plan for 2021-2024, setting out four key objectives: governance, asset and liability management, administration, and communication.
Michelle King, interim head of the fund, wrote in the report that “like any business we need to set ourselves clear objectives and plan our work to achieve them”.
Under governance, the fund is looking to “be transparent, open and accountable to our stakeholders for our decisions, ensuring they are robust and evidence based”, the plan said, adding that the scheme would also ensure delivery of value for money, excellent customer service and compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards where appropriate.
For asset and liability management, the plan for the Lancashire scheme is to ensure that resources are available to meet the fund’s liabilities through achieving investment performance at least in line with actuarial assumptions, and to achieve full funding – no funding deficit – over a period no longer than the current recovery period, among other things.
The fund will look to conduct sensitivity analysis on its asset strategy against its liabilities to confirm how robust its asset strategy is to deliver the outcomes in the funding strategy statement, it said.
As for administration, one of the fund’s objectives is to “demonstrate compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements”. It plans to review and implement all amending legislation and regulations and develop appropriate assurance processes to ensure adoption of such new regulations or legislation.
In communication, the scheme will look to provide “good pension information, promoting pensions in the workplace”, delivering information in a way that “suits all stakeholders, increasingly taking advantage of advances in technology”, it added.
Lancashire is part of the Local Pensions Partnership, a collaboration between two Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds with the other fund being the London Pensions Fund Authority.
London borough scheme hires Aon as consultant
The £1.9bn (€2.2bn) London Borough of Southwark Pension Fund – which is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and has over 25,000 members – has appointed Aon to provide investment advice.
Aon already provides both actuarial and governance advice to the fund, a statement said.
Duncan Whitfield, London Borough of Southwark’s strategic director of finance and governance, said: “We have worked with Aon for some time in other areas of managing our fund. However, when reviewing our investment strategy and with particular reference to our pursuit of a low-carbon approach, we were impressed by the Aon Investment team’s credentials and capabilities in this area and in the thinking that backed them up.”
Colin Cartwright, partner at Aon, said: “The Southwark pension fund has led the way among schemes in the LGPS in incorporating a low-carbon strategy into its investment thinking while maintaining liquidity and growing the value of the fund. At the same time, Aon has substantially grown its capabilities in the field of responsible investment.”