The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) found that employees working within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) have concerns about resourcing, the overplanning of various governing organisations and the burden of regulatory initiatives.
The LGPS is the largest funded defined benefit (DB) pension scheme in the UK, and one of the biggest in the world. Recent figures show that it has 7.1 million members, over 15,500 employers, and assets of more than £425bn.
A survey conducted by the PLSA, which gained responses from 92 LGPS representatives, showed that the vast majority of respondents (82%) are positive about working in the scheme. However, concerns about resourcing persist with a quarter of respondents not feeling they have the right staff in place (23%).
Three quarters of respondents identified good governance as priority for government and regulatory focus. Responsible investment and stewardship, alongside Pensions Dashboards, are also high on the priority list for LGPS staff, according to the survey, with 18% saying that the government should focus on pooling.
Most of the respondents said they still believe that the main legislation or regulatory requirements that govern their work are overlapping between different organisations/regulators (66%) with a similar proportion saying it causes them confusion (63%).
More than half of respondents (54%) feel that the legislation/regulatory requirements are too complex to execute (up from 48% since 2021) while 43% feel legislation/regulatory requirements are hindering them from doing their job effectively.
As a result, most representatives suggested they would like to see simpler and clearer regulation of the scheme.
Tiffany Tsang, head of DB, LGPS and investment at the PLSA, said: “As the largest funded DB pension scheme in the UK, the LGPS is in good financial health and employees report having a positive experience of working within it.
“However, a swathe of regulatory initiatives in recent years mean the LGPS is increasingly being asked to do more with its limited resources, with our surveys showing LGPS funds find it particularly challenging to recruit.”
She added: “The PLSA is committed to engaging with government and key stakeholders to draw attention to these findings and the challenges being felt within the LGPS.”