The pension scheme trade body, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, has issued helpful guidance to charities and other employers joining the Local Government Pension Scheme. The PLSA reports that the number of employers in the LGPS, including many charities, housing associations and other third sector organisations, has grown rapidly in recent years to more than 10,000 as many services previously provided by the public sector are commissioned from other providers.
Many of these new service providers will be participating in the LGPS for the first time and may not have been faced with the legal and financial challenges of final salary-type pension schemes before, let alone the very complex requirements of the LGPS. The new guidance is a helpful introduction to the LGPS for charities and other bodies considering bidding to provide services where they will have to participate in the LGPS. But they should always consider taking specialist actuarial and legal advice to ensure their bids take account of the full cost of providing benefits through the LGPS and adequate protections are built into the service provision agreement.