Speaking in response to a report to Flintshire County Council, which suggested the pooling of local authority pension pot investments in Wales, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government said:
“I welcome any proposals within local government workings which aim to cut red tape and bureaucracy and reduce the burden of back office administration on council taxpayers.
“Cuts to local government budgets from the Welsh Labour Government have meant that many authorities must find cost-cutting measures, and this is one way of tightening belts.
“Of paramount importance to council taxpayers and council employees is transparency throughout this process.”
The Clwyd Pension Fund has agreement from the UK Government to ‘pool’ investments with the other seven Wales Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Funds. To satisfy Investment Regulations for the in England and Wales, there would need to be a legally binding Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) between the eight funds.
The report notes that the establishing of the investment pooling arrangements will result in some additional costs which will be agreed on an annual basis by the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee and the other seven administering authorities in Wales.
The Member added:
“Whilst I would encourage all local authorities to sign up to such an agreement to ensure that this pooling can go ahead in a co-ordinated and swift manner, I would want to see any additional costs in the short term kept as low as possible, to enable the overall savings to reach council taxpayers across Wales sooner rather than later. Further, this is being sold as a cost-cutting action, and therefore I would hope to see the future administrative costs of a one-Wales LGPS fund to be significantly lower than the combined cost of all eight at present.”
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