The local authority pension funds for the London boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth have put forward merger plans for their two pension funds, following the move by the two borough councils to share staff, which was announced in January 2015.
Under the LGPS regulations, both boroughs are required to maintain a pension fund for its staff and other scheme employers, so as part of the overall staff sharing arrangement, they are proposing to have a single £2 billion fund for both boroughs. They argue that this would be best for financial accountability and cost savings, given their goal of achieving £10 million in savings for their council tax payers. A consultation process for moving to a single pension fund, which would see the assets and liabilities of Richmond transferred to the Wandsworth fund, started on August 4, 2016 and will run for six weeks, as this is required for a change in the local government regulations needed to create the new fund. At present, Richmond’s pension administration is provided by Wandsworth. At the end of March 2015, the Richmond pension fund had £611 million in assets, while Wandsworth’s fund had assets of £1.47 billion. It is therefore proposed that the combined fund would have six members from Wandsworth and three from Richmond on the committee. Each borough would retain responsibility for its past service liabilities.