The £2.1 billion Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has announced plans to join the Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) asset pool.
Berkshire is the last UK local authority fund to join one of the eight asset pools, which are being set up to combine the £200 billion plus in assets at the UK’s 89 local authority pension funds. The asset pools aim to give underlying LGPS funds access to a wider range of opportunities at lower cost, than they can achieve on their own. They are due to start operating from April 2018.
The Berkshire fund was initially understood to be joining LPP, which is a partnership of Lancashire County Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority, but in the summer was understood to be looking at other options. However, it recently confirmed that it has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to join the LPP. Michael O’Higgins, chair of the LPP, commented: “This agreement is an important step in our collaboration with the Berkshire Pension Fund. We look forward to working closely with Berkshire in helping to bring the same sustainable benefits to the fund and its members as to those of our existing clients.”
Under the MOU, the assets of the Berkshire fund will be pooled with those already managed by the LPP. The LPP will also manage Berkshire’s pension administration, liability management and employer risk services.