UK – The Department for Communities and Local Government has outlined its proposals to exempt councillors from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
The changes, announced last December, could see councillors in England and Wales no longer eligible for membership – while one of the options under consideration would allow certain other elected officials, such as directly elected mayors, to remain enrolled.
The DCLG consultation document added that if councillors retained membership post-2014 – when widespread changes to public sector pensions are due to take effect, including lower accrual rates and higher contributions for most members – then the elected officials should see their contributions increase in line with their allowances, rather than being a 6% flat-rate.
The department said that if the current system continued, then it would be "out of kilter" with other contribution levels, and recommended a phased increase in contribution up to an allowance of £150,000 (€175,000) to avoid "too high a burden on local taxpayers".
At present, any deficit that cannot be addressed through investment income has to be funded through a council's central government grant or the locally collected tax receipts.
Responses to the consultation are requested by 5 July.
In other news, the Pension Protection Fund is seeking investment managers to invest in liquid alternatives strategies.
The framework agreement would seek to identity and select managers active in the managed futures, macro and global tactical asset allocation (GTAA) space.
The fund said it would consider other liquid alternatives employing a "predominately macro or multi-strategy approach to generating absolute returns, without a persistent long exposure to traditional betas".
The £11.1bn lifeboat scheme said it would look to appoint several managers, with the mandates aimed to lower its reliance on equity markets and other growth asset classes, as well as offer returns diversifying its current asset allocation.
It added that existing GTAA would continue to provide services, but that they would be expected to re-apply to remain eligible for future awards.
Interested parties should apply by 16 May.
Finally, the British Airways Pension Fund has appointed BNY Mellon to provide services for a number of the fund's over-the-counter (OTC) derivative investments.
Nadine Chakar, head of product and strategy for BNY Mellon's Global Collateral Services business, said the needs of global retirement systems had grown "increasingly sophisticated".
This, according to her, was due to ongoing regulatory developments, the emergence of more complex financial instruments and the current cross-border investment environment.