Latest news & announcements

The LGPS and stock markets

There has been a lot of disturbing news lately about the fall in stock markets and the potential resultant impact on pensions, however, we would like to reassure you that your LGPS defined benefit pension is not linked to stock market performance and the benefits are instead set out in statute. Our members can therefore be assured that both their contributions and their pension, whether in payment or built up to date, will be unaffected.  Please note that this statement does not apply to any in-house AVC contributions you may be paying to our in-house provider Aviva which may be impacted by the fall in stock markets.

Government announces changes to Lifetime Allowance and Tapered Annual Allowance from 6 April 2020

The annual allowance is the most you can save in your pension schemes each year with the benefit of tax relief. Tapering of the annual allowance is applied depending on your income within the tax year and applies to all pension savings that you make or that are made on your behalf. 

At Budget 2020, the government announced increases to the threshold income and adjusted income limits that you use to work out your tapered annual allowance. From 6 April 2020, the adjusted income limit will rise to £240,000 (increased from £150,000) and the threshold income limit will rise to £200,000 (increased from £110,000).

How safe is my pension?

I’ve heard about the fall in global stock market values and wondered if my pension is safe.

Yes, your local government pension is safe

You may have seen many articles in the media about the fall in share prices around the world, as companies struggle to cope with the impact of the coronavirus and wondered just how secure your pension from the Avon Pension Fund is.

The Avon Pension Fund is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The LGPS is a statutory defined benefit scheme which means that your pension will continue to be worked out using a set formula and it is guaranteed by Government. LGPS is funded by pension contributions from members and scheme employers

The Avon Pension Fund reduces risk by spreading its investments across a wide number of different types of assets all over the world, including shares or equities, property, government bonds and company bonds. This means that if the value of one type of asset should fall (such as some equities in the current market), then the other investments will protect the Fund.

The Fund has experienced economic downturns in the past and a long-term view must be taken of investment returns.

Despite the uncertainty you may hear from the media concerning global markets, you should not be unduly concerned about your local government pension from Avon Pension Fund.

It is as secure a pension as it’s possible to have.

Pensions Increase

Adding money to a stack of coins

Government announces public service pensions which have been in payment for a year will be increased by 1.7% from 6 April 2020 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.

Brunel Climate Change Policy: A five-point plan for building a financial system which is fit for a low carbon future

Brunel Pension Partnership Limited (Brunel) is one of eight national pooled funds and manages the investment of the pension assets for the funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Brunel manages circa £30 billion investments on behalf of these 10 Local Government Pension Scheme funds.

The state of play in the finance sector and our role within it means our focus must be on shaping and influencing the investment system to ensure it is fit for purpose. Our priority is to catalyse change at scale, not only through our own efforts but in partnership with others, and by enabling our Clients to be agents of change in their own right.

The new climate change policy – ‘A five-point plan to build a financial system which is fit for a carbon-zero future’ – builds on insights gained in the course of procuring new asset managers for its 10 LGPS clients.

Brunel Pension Partnership co-file a shareholder resolution at Barclays AGM, putting climate change centre stage for the banking sector

Institutional investors managing over £130bn including Brunel Pension Partnership, one of Avon Pension Fund’s investment managers, have filed a shareholder resolution at Barclays alongside over 100 individual shareholders. It will be voted on by investors at Barclays’ annual general meeting in May 2020.

This landmark resolution – the first climate change resolution filed at a European bank – requests that Barclays publishes a plan to gradually stop the provision of financial services to companies in the energy sector, and to gas and electric utilities that are not aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Keeping an eye on your pension - be part of the Avon Pension Fund Board!

We are asking for members of the scheme (whether you’re paying into the scheme, have previously paid in or are receiving a pension) to step forward and nominate themselves for the member representative role on the Board.

What the board does?

The Avon Pension Fund Board provides an oversight and scrutiny role and helps ensure that the Fund complies with governance and administration requirements, including relevant laws, regulations and codes of practice, such as from the Pensions Regulator.

Its role is to support the Fund to help it make improvements to its governance and administration functions. It can also make recommendations on the same matters to the Pensions Regulator and the national Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Advisory Board.

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