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Local Authorities: Pensions

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the value of each local authority’s pension fund was at the most recent date for which information is available; and what estimate she has made of the value of each local authority’s fund invested in accordance with a socially responsible investment policy; (194299)

(2) what steps the Government has taken to promote socially responsible investment policies among fund holding local authority pension schemes; and if she will make a statement.

Since 2000, the 89 pension fund authorities in England and Wales which administer the Local Government Pension Scheme have been required by the scheme’s regulations to publish and maintain a Statement of Investment Principles, including their policy on the extent to which social, environmental or ethical considerations are taken into account in the selection, retention and realisation of investments. The regulations also require that each statement is published locally.

All the scheme’s funds in England and Wales are undergoing an actuarial valuation of their funds as at 31 March 2007, as required by its regulations. The outcome for each fund will not be known until later in the year. In the meantime, the results from the 2004 valuation for English local authorities participating in the Scheme are given at

www.xoq83.dial.pipex.com/actvale.pdf.

Information about the proportion of funds invested under a socially responsible investment policy is held by individual fund authorities; it is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Individual fund authorities in England and Wales will be able to provide specific figures for their funds.