Pensions could be pooled to kick-start stalled infrastructure projects
The Local Government Association (LGA) is assessing plans to pool town hall pension funds, to kick-start the country’s 500 stalled priority infrastructure projects.
Smith Square has established a working group, led by South Norfolk Council leader, Cllr John Fuller, to investigate the role of the local government pension scheme (LGPS) and investment in local economies.
Cllr Fuller told The MJ there was ‘a surprising amount of agreement’ on the role of pooled funds at a roundtable discussion held on 11 December - the first of three -which involved leading players from local government, Whitehall, pension fund management and the finance industry.
‘The LGA has a ‘convenor’ role to make funds available for pooled infrastructure investment opportunities,’ Cllr Fuller said.
Cllr Fuller argued a common approach should be developed to match some of the £150bn LGPS funds available with the 500 projects already prioritised for investment by the Treasury body, Infrastructure UK.
According to Cllr Fuller, there was ‘complete consensus’ among participants that a pooled approach could succeed in minimising the risks of councils investing in pro-growth schemes - including housing, broadband, energy and waste - within their own geographic area.
‘It doesn’t mean they [LGPS fund managers] can’t invest in their own backyards, but there may be the choice of several opportunities, from high to low risk,on where they wish to invest,’ Cllr Fuller said.
Further roundtable meetings will be held in February and March next year and the group will examine what the capital markets want and equally seek to understand from the LGPS schemes’ perspective if there is an appetite to get involved and at what level, Cllr Fuller added.
Central question it raises is that of return for pensioners, esp as this number growsStephen Horscroft, policy officer, Cornwall Council, Added: Thursday, 13 December 2012 09:15 AM
In that case, if the banks were under public control, we would never be in this position again. Now that IS a thought.Gerry Dominey, Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:13 PM
Mind you, if the banks were under public control we wouldn't be in this position in the first place.Gerry Dominey, Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:10 PM
So, if the banks were under public control, could we kick-start the entire economy? Just a thought.Gerry Dominey, Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:06 PM
Why is it every time some money is wanted it always comes from the emplotyees as if they dont already pay enough, Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 01:22 PM
If just some of the funds could be used to de-risk prudential borrowing there is enormous potential to invest into highways projects. Blackpool Council is currently investing ?30M into removing their highways maintenance backlog, securing the employment of their skilled engineers and creating many local jobs. Figures suggest they will save ?100M over 25years as a result of moving away from reactive maintenance. 10 Councils doing the same would generate approx ?300m in infrastructure investmentSteve Birdsall, M.D, Gaist, Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2012 01:12 PM
|Back||Top of page|