60 second summary
What’s the objective? Academies in the LGPS: a SAB consultation
04 Sep 2017
This is the latest development in the ongoing topic of academy schools in the English Local Government Pension Scheme. The LGPS Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) has issued a consultation which ends on 29 September.
Hymans Robertson has been following developments and providing input to this important area, and this note contains some thoughts which you might find helpful if you are submitting a response to the consultation.
SAB had previously commissioned an independent report on the topic which we reviewed via a Sixty Second Summary. From that, it tentatively proposed with Ministerial approval that any changes should be kept within the LGPS, either via guidance (general or statutory) or via amendments to the scheme’s regulatory framework. More radical measures outside the LGPS were not ruled out if any changes prove ineffective. This consultation is the next step, outlining draft objectives for the exercise.
There have been several years of discussions on this important topic, but now it seems that some form of central guidance and consistency in approach is forthcoming. This is hugely important, as part of the problem to date has been the lack of resolution of conflicting requirements from different parties. This consultation allows consensus to be gradually built, and any arguments or counter-arguments have time to be aired.
As we have said before, for instance in our previous note on this topic, it is impossible to square this circle, but that doesn’t mean that a fair and balanced solution can’t be found. SAB’s approach looks to be a steady hand on the tiller.
Finally, many of the issues to date appear to have arisen due to lack of resource, both at funds and academies. Whilst any direct solution to resource issues is beyond the remit of this particular consultation, we would urge that any resulting actions help to alleviate workload for all parties, or at least do not add to workloads.