LGPS shake-up offers an opportunity for review

4 Dec 2012

At a joint seminar with CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) to explore alternative models for delivering LGPS pension administration, the pioneering pension administration mutual, MyCSP, talked to an audience of key Local Government officials about new scope for savings and service improvements. The event was attended by over a third of LGPS funds inEngland, including many from London boroughs.

Virginia Burke, Head of Business Development at MyCSP, said: “Local government pension schemes are under increasing pressure to reduce administration costs, particularly!with the next Comprehensive Spending Review approaching. The Civil Service Pension Scheme was in a similar position to the LGPS just a few years ago, and has since achieved substantial cost reductions and service improvements through evolving as an organisation. We will eventually halve the costs of administration across the scheme. We are keen to share our experience with local authorities to help them deliver more for less.”

MyCSP opens the debate on alternative models of delivery with LGPS pension administrators.

MyCSP was the first mutual to spin out of UK central government, launching as a mutual joint venture partnership in May 2012 between employees, government and private sector partner Equiniti Group’s Paymaster business. It is under contract to administer the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme on behalf of 1.5 million public sector workers.

Starting out as 11 disparate organisations administering the same pension scheme, MyCSP set out on a journey to create the first truly cross-government shared service. It considered a range of consolidation options, including increasing in-house capabilities and contracting an IT provider, outsourcing and a partnership model. Mutuality provided a real stake for all in the ownership and governance of the organisation, with research demonstrating that employee owned/mutual companies with highly engaged employees consistently out-perform comparable organisations.

Yesterday’s seminar, entitled ‘Mutuality – a model for the future?’, has been held during a period of close scrutiny into how the LGPS is run, and follows the publication of a recent report by PwC into the 34 London LGPSs which makes the case for closer working on investment and administration operations.

Also speaking at the event was Mark Packham of PwC. He said: “Evolutionary change is needed in the delivery of investment and administration services in Local Government Pension Schemes. The evidence for this deserves a fair hearing - if we don't deliver the LGPS cost effectively now, we won't be protecting the next generation of members."

Chair of the CIPFA Pensions Network and host of the event Bob Summers said: “With increasing pressure on local authorities to do more for less, the purpose of this seminar was to give those involved in delivering LGPS pensions the opportunity to discuss different service models so that they can make an informed decision on how best to deliver pensions administration for their scheme.”

The seminar was followed by a drinks reception to mark the launch of the new MyCSP brand. The group has launched a new brand look quite different to anything else in the penions administration market. The vibrant circles represent the coming together of the Government, private sector partner Equniti and the group’s employee partners.

MyCSP’s CEO Phil Bartlett commented: “With the groundbreaking partnership of MyCSP comes new investment, new commercial and technical expertise which is transformational for MyCSP. We feel this new brand look reflects our new attitude and ambitions and sets us apart from the crowd.

We want people to know that when they make the positive choice to do business with us, they’re working with an organisation whose approach is truly different; a mutual designed to make their future brighter!; our new brand is certainly bright and, hopefully, it will encourage people to take a look at our offering.”

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