Latest news & announcements

Pensions Increase

Pension increase

Government announces public service pensions which have been in payment for a year will be increased by 3.1% from 11 April 2022 in line with the September-to-September increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). 

Any pension which has been in payment for less than a year will be increased by a proportionate amount depending upon the number of months it has been in payment.

Update for members

What are we doing?

Over the past 18 months, we’ve had very limited and sometimes no access to our main offices at the Keynsham Civic Centre or other sites – meaning all staff have been working remotely from home.

We’re now embracing a more blended way of working that will see staff working both at home and in the office.

For now, everyone remains working from home while our offices undergo essential maintenance and changes to allow for this new way of working, but we expect a gradual return in the first half of 2022.

How you can help

At this time, we continue to experience a much higher volume of enquiries than usual and are prioritising essential requests. 

Please help us by wherever possible getting in touch by email. If you have an enquiry, please email: avonpensionfund@bathnes.gov.uk  

You can also use the ‘Contact us’ facility on our website, to send your enquiry with your contact details by visiting the following webpage:

www.avonpensionfund.org.uk/contact-us  

Every effort will be made to deal with your enquiry as soon as possible.

You can also access your pension account using our secure self-service website my pension online. Where you can view your pension details, access your annual benefit statement, perform estimates and update your expression of wish nominations and contact details.

If you haven’t registered for my pension online already, it’s a simple process. Just visit the registration webpage https://myaccount.avonpensionfund.org.uk/ with your National Insurance number, click on ‘Register’ and follow the instructions.

As we currently have very limited access to both our building and incoming post, we have introduced a secure service by which you can receive and return your documents digitally.

Full details on how to use the SecureShare portal software is available here:

PDF iconSecureShare Guide for Scheme Members

If you are not able to communicate digitally you can send documents to the Avon Pension Fund at the usual address, however, incoming post is currently retrieved on a limited basis, and as such there may be a significant delay in our ability to retrieve your documents for action.

You can still contact us by telephone if your enquiry is urgent, please call 01225 395100. Our telephone service is operating weekdays, between 9am and 4pm.

We’ll keep updating our website regularly as the situation changes.

We appreciate your understanding and support.

Avon Pension Fund signs new charter to target diversity problem in asset management

At Avon Pension Fund, diversity is an integral part of our Responsible Investment strategy and as such a key priority. To help address the issue and build an investment industry that embodies a more balanced representation of diverse societies, we have recently signed-up to the Asset Owner Diversity Charter.

2020 Annual Review: Avon Pension Fund Engagement Highlights

Our ESG engagement/stewardship annual review of 2020 is here. This report outlines the engagement activity carried out by EOS Federated Hermes on behalf of Avon Pension Fund – and aims to highlight and quantify all the ESG engagement/stewardship activities carried out throughout 2020.

657 companies were engaged with across 2,419 environmental, social, governance, strategy, risk and communications issues and objectives. The impressive figures held in the report highlight how much of an impact we can have, both for the UK and world beyond.

Government updates Brexit pension guidance

The Government has updated the Brexit pension guidance to reflect that the State Pension will continue to be increased while the person is resident in the EU and that the transition period has ended. The guidance explains the rights of UK nationals in the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland to benefits and pensions now that the UK has left the EU. The Government Brexit pension guidance can be found at the follwoing location: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/benefits-and-pensions-for-uk-nationals-in-the-eea-or-switzerland

Focus on Investments: Sustainability and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The economic and societal impact of Covid-19 is now becoming more apparent and poses many additional challenges for companies, consumers, governments and investors alike. In our last newsletter we communicated our plans to directly address the risks posed by climate change. As we start to adjust to the ‘new normal’ it is important we redouble our efforts to transform our portfolio for a lower carbon world.

Amidst the unprecedented market volatility in March, companies responding positively to the challenges of climate change, environmental sustainability and social well-being were able to demonstrate their value. Over the first three months of the year, the Fund’s low carbon global equities outperformed the mainstream equity market and our sustainable equity portfolio experienced roughly half of the severe declines suffered by its benchmark.

We continue to make progress in the following areas, which remain critical if we are to achieve our ambitious climate change goals:

Don’t let a scammer enjoy your retirement

Scammers are targeting pension pots of all sizes – make sure you know how to spot the signs

Pension scammers are targeting people like you with the average victim losing £91,000 each. 

Scams are hard to spot and are often disguised with credible websites, testimonials and materials which make them look like the real thing.

To help you spot the signs and protect yourself from a scam, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Pensions Regulator suggest following four simple steps.

Brunel Pension Partnership Co-file a Shareholder Resolution at Barclays AGM

In January we published details of a landmark shareholder resolution co-filed by Brunel Pension Partnership calling on Barclays to set and disclose targets to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies where they are not aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The outcome of the meeting has been hailed a success with Barclays’ own resolution winning majority support and committing them to becoming net carbon zero by 2050. The shareholder resolution won significant minority support in its own right, prompting the bank to consult with shareholders and explain the views received and actions taken publicly within six months.

The result is a great example of the power of Pooling and highlights now more than ever the value of shareholder engagement as the Fund seeks to deliver on its ambitious climate change objectives.

Further information relating to both resolutions can be found here: https://www.brunelpensionpartnership.org/2020/04/29/from-ambition-to-action-lpgs-investors-ask-barclays-to-firm-up-commitments-on-climate/

Brunel Pension Partnership’s official statement following the outcome of the Barclays AGM can be found here: https://www.brunelpensionpartnership.org/2020/05/07/barclays-climate-resolution-outcome/

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