4. Local Government Pensions
Local Government Pension Scheme Funds are operated as separate funds to other accounts. In accordance with regulation 4 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008, and regulation 35 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Administration) (Scotland) Regulations 2008, employer and employee contributions are paid into the fund, along with income from investments, and pensions and lump sum benefits are paid out of the fund. The income and expenditure from these funds are therefore entirely separate from the income and expenditure of the Authorities that administer the funds.
Tables 4.1 and 4.2 show the collective income and expenditure for the Local Government Pension Scheme for the year in question, with income from contributions representing payments for pensionable service accrued during the year which will be paid out (as part of an overall pension) at a future date and expenditure on pensions representing payments of previously accrued pension rights. The relative financial health of the pension scheme is gauged through three-yearly actuarial valuations of each of the eleven funds.
Table 4.1 - Local Government Pension Scheme Funds Expenditure 2010-11 - 2014-15
|Total Benefits including Payments under Pensions (Increase) Acts:||969,723||1,021,142||1,025,525||1,069,643||1,116,100|
|Payments under Pensions (Increase) Acts1||61,537||66,469||179,156||190,925||205,688|
1. Payments under the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 relate to costs associated with uprating of pensions. In some cases local authorities were unable to separately identify this cost and included it within pensions, lump sums & other benefits.
2. Transfer Values are due to scheme members transferring to other pension schemes (for example where a scheme member has moved to a different employer).
3. "Other Benefits" includes, Fund Administration and Management Costs (the largest component); Refunds of Contributions; Adjustments; and Premiums.
Source: Local Financial Returns: LFR 24
Table 4.1 details the total expenditure of the Local Government Pension Scheme Funds in Scotland since 2010-11. Total expenditure increased by 4.7% (£53 million) between 2013-14 and 2014-15, with the vast majority (94%) of expenditure being on benefits. The increases in Pensions and Payments under Pensions (Increase) Acts should be interpreted with care, as much of this can be attributed to improved reporting.
Table 4.2 - Local Government Pension Scheme Funds Income 2019-11 - 2014-15
|Contributions (including those from other employing authorities)||Employees||276,179||262,811||258,219||266,780||271,320|
|Net Investment and Other Income||1,538,331||516,367||3,040,095||2,063,964||4,215,940|
Source: Local Financial Returns - LFR 24
Table 4.2 shows local government pension scheme funds income since 2010-11. Contributions from employees and employers are both dependent on the number of contributing employees (full time and part-time) and increased by 1.9% between 2013-14 and 2014-15, however are still below 2010-11 levels. Contributions from employees are fixed at a set percentage of pay, depending on level of salary. Contribution rates from employers are variable and are reviewed on a triennial basis, with actuaries determining the contribution rates for the following three years.
More fluctuation is seen in other income and, in particular, net profits on realisation of investments. Net investment income is influenced by investment conditions (e.g. changes in the stock market) and is the most variable component of the total pension funds income.
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