Tuesday, March 25, 2008

“The Battle for the LGPS Governance”

Today I went to the first UNISON national seminar on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) -“Representation and Governance” in central London.

While I appreciate that for some strange reason, many folk do not appear to value the governance arrangements of the LGPS. I and about 75 others from across the land disagreed and had made our way to the NUT headquarters in Kings Cross to take part in this event.

The seminar was chaired by UNISON NEC member Jane Carolan and the opening speaker was UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis. Dave pointed out that the LGPS had an estimated 3.6 million members and the total value of all investments in the scheme was around £125 billion. How well this scheme is run is actually of importance not only to scheme members, but also to some extent, the wider British economy.

There was a number of speakers including the “enemy” (joke of course) CLG civil servants Bob Holloway and Terry Crossley. By co-incidence, both the CLG and UNISON speakers, used the same photo of the first major pension thief, Capt Bob Maxwell, in their presentations. He of course, stole hundreds of millions of pounds, from the “Mirror” pension scheme.

The presentation on the LGPS and EU Directive 41 “Institutions for Occupational Retirement” (aka “IORP”) was, believe it or not, absolutely fascinating.

In the past there has been a dispute between senior civil servants and union negotiators whether the LGPS was a “Bath” or a “Sausage machine”. Today, we also learnt that there was a discussion on whether or not it was a “duck” as well? The plot thickens.

It’s getting a bit late and there was too much to post tonight. So I will post various stuff I found interesting later on in the week.

Update: I forgot to mention the Maxwell connection and the LGPS. In order to stop pensions theft and other bad practices the Government commissioned the Goode Report. One of the recommendations of this report was that the LGPS should have staffside representation with statutory rights (short of voting rights). However, due to "opposition" from employers this was never implemented. Why?

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