Laura Sharman 11 May 2016

Union calls for law change to protect council pension fund decisions

The law should be amended to include a European directive that ensures only councils decide where they invest their pension funds, a trade union has said.

Unison has accused the Government of ignoring calls to change the law to include the directive, which states only the 89 individual funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) can decide where to invest pensions.

The union launched a petition last month calling for a parliamentary debate on plans to force LGPS to invest in infrastructure projects. It has been backed by more than 70,000 signatures so far.

Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: 'Ministers have failed to address the key point of the parliamentary petition, which wants it written into law that council pension funds, not the government, should decide where LGPS funds are invested in the best interests of scheme members.

'It’s up to council pension funds to decide where to get the best return on their investments. Council pension funds must be able to make their own decisions, not be told where to put their cash by ministers.'

The Government has already stressed it will not force councils to invest their pensions into infrastructure schemes, adding it would only intervene if there was clear evidence a pension fund authority was not acting 'reasonably and lawfully'.

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