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Both combined and local authorities have faced cost pressures for some time and continue to do so, and they are also faced with dealing with the changing demands of residents, changes in operating models around health and social services,  and issues brought about by COVID-19.

Pensions provide the opportunity for both combined and local authorities to look closely at their costs and how pensions costs are financed, the impact on their people and overarching governance. We are specialists in advising employers in the LGPS. We also recognise that employees at combined authorities may also have access to the NHS, the Firefighters Pension Scheme and the Police Pension Scheme and we have the relevant expertise to also advise on these schemes.

Isio work closely with CIPFA, the LGPS SAB and MHCLG on an ad hoc basis and have key contacts at each allowing Isio to keep abreast of developments and feedback the employer angle as issues emerge.

Combined and local authorities understand that the LGPS is a valuable pension scheme and an important element of an employee’s total reward that supports financial wellbeing. We are experts in communicating the value of pensions and help employers to educate their employees around how the LGPS benefits are built up, the associated value and to explain technical matters in clear and plain English to improve understanding (e.g. pensions remedy following the McCloud judgement). LGPS 2014 is a valuable scheme and it would serve councils well for the scheme to be better understood to drive up engagement, motivation and productivity.

Funding DB benefits can present a significant risk to an authority. We help local authorities understand what their funding position is, where the risk is being taken on their behalf in the investment strategy and identify the best way forward to manage the risk, but also alternative and efficient ways of funding pensions costs using their asset base.

As a scheduled employer in the LGPS, authorities need to understand DB risk and understand the options available to them for managing the risk and funding the costs

About Isio

Isio’s local government team advises multiple local and combined authorities across the UK on funding, investment strategy, year-end accounting pension disclosures, pensions implications of insourcing and outsourcing of services, staff transfers between the public and private sector, as well as acting as guarantor and LGPS participations in joint ventures and subsidiaries. Isio also provide communications support through setting the strategy to creating and delivering the material.

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