Laura Sharman 05 April 2016

Petition calls for debate on reforms to council pension schemes

A petition calling for a parliamentary debate on plans to force local government pension funds to invest money in infrastructure projects has been signed by more than 12,000 people.

The petition has been organised by trade union Unison, who warn the Government should not be allowed to ‘gamble’ away council workers' pensions.

The plans outlined by the chancellor last year would see the assets of 89 pension funds pooled together into six new British Wealth Funds.

However, Unison said while it was not against LGPS funds investing in infrastructure, decisions should be made by members rather than ministers to ensure the best rate of return.

The petition states: ‘Government wants powers over LGPS investment funds, but they could gamble away members’ money on infrastructure projects. This is not allowed in any other UK scheme, including the MPs'. The LGPS must be invested in members’ best interests.’

The petition, which was published a week ago, requires 100,000 signatures to be considered for debate in Parliament.

Last month it was reported that a judicial review could be launched against the Whitehall plans, with lawyers claiming they could be in breach of an European Union directive.

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