Local government pension scheme (LGPS) funds
The law relating to LGPS funds – registered, funded, statutory, public-sector pension schemes – is a highly specialised area. Each regional fund is governed by an administering authority and administered, managed and funded at a local level. Local government lawyers are well-placed to understand an administering authority’s complex service requirements and able to provide the high level of contact needed to ensure that the authority’s legal risks are quickly identified and resolved. nplaw and its predecessor, Norfolk County Council’s legal team, have acted for Norfolk Pension Fund for many years and our lawyers work closely with their counterparts, giving advice on:
- scheme governance and member related issues;
- eligibility requirements, the payment of contributions and the benefit structure in this career-average scheme, as well as provisions regarding the scheme’s administration and management;
- requirements of the admission agreement and bond regime;
- responses to issues arising from admission agreements including, for example, pooling arrangements and deficit matters;
- the effect of the Best Value Authorities Staff Transfers (Pensions) Direction 2007 providing for the inclusion of pension protection provisions in outsourcing agreements;
- interactions with other pension schemes, for example NHS Pensions;
- delivery mechanisms arising from LGPS reforms, most recently in relation to pooling arrangements.
Commercial advice for LGPS funds
We also advise Norfolk Pension Fund on a range of business issues, such as:
- the procurement of IT administration systems including tendering processes and contract negotiations;
- employment law both in respect of individual issues and broader restructuring or outsourcing projects;
- intellectual property matters;
- information and data protection law;
- property law.
The National LGPS Framework Project
nplaw’s LGPS lawyers have extended their niche specialism even further as legal advisers to the National LGPS Framework project, a groundbreaking initiative which won the “Best Collaboration” at the LGC Investment Awards in November 2015. The project is a collaboration between several LGPS funds which, through the establishment of OJEU compliant best practice procurement vehicles, has allowed its members to leverage their combined buying power resulting in significant savings whilst still supporting local decision making and service requirements. The framework is open to all LGPS funds and, increasingly, the wider public sector. Work commenced in 2012 with the launch of an actuarial and benefit consultancy services framework, an investment consultancy framework and a global custody services framework. nplaw has acted as legal adviser to the project since its inception, providing professional support across a range of tasks including extensive negotiations with financial services providers from across the industry.