The Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) was established under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 to provide advice to Scottish Government Ministers on the desirability of changes to the design of the scheme and the implication of other policy issues.
The SAB also provides advice to the Scheme Managers or the Scheme Pension Boards in relation to the effective and efficient administration and management of the scheme.
The Scheme Advisory Board is responsible for:
Providing advice on request about the desirability of changes to the design of the scheme; policy issues and changes to scheme regulations.
Discussing and commenting on the potential implications of future valuation outcomes.
Making recommendations on adjustments to the Scheme, in the event that costs breach the employer cost cap.
Providing advice to the Scheme Managers or the Scheme’s Pension Boards in relation to the effective and efficient administration and management of the Scheme.
Structure and People
The SAB is a bipartite Board comprising equal representation from employers and employee representatives. It meets four times a year and considers Scotland-wide issues relating to the governance of the scheme.
In the past, these have included Fiduciary Duty, “pensions choice”, scheme governance, reviews of pension regulations, Guaranteed Minimum Pensions, and the Audit Scotland review of funds.
Current issues include investment cost transparency, cessation valuations for admitted bodies, scheme valuation and quality of individual fund valuations, fund structures and board member training.
The partnership approach is also reflected in our administration arrangements with Joint Chairing on a rotational basis between the two sets of representatives and a Joint Secretariat sourced from existing resources within the Employers and Trade Union organisations.
Current SAB Members (as at April 2021)
Chair Cllr Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council (Vice Chair 2019-20)
Vice Chair Andy Thompson, GMB (Chair 2019-20)
Members representing Scheme Member interests:
Simon Watson, UNISON
Stephen Smellie, UNISON
Dr Davena Rankin, UNISON
Brian Robertson, Unite the Union
Wendy Dunsmore, Unite the Union
Andy Thompson, GMB
Annette Drylie, GMB
Members representing COSLA, Scheduled and Admitted Bodies:
Cllr Alastair Rankin, City of Edinburgh Council (COSLA)
Cllr Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council (COSLA)
Cllr David Parker, Scottish Borders Council (COSLA)
Cllr Simon Mountford, Scottish Borders Council (COSLA)
Cllr Frank Anderson, West Lothian Council (COSLA)
Brian Strathie, Scottish Water (Scheduled and Admitted Bodies)
Lynne Robertson, Inspire (Scheduled and Admitted Bodies) (from January 2020)
During 2019-20 Cllr Richard Thompson, Aberdeenshire Council, was replaced by Cllr Frank Anderson, West Lothian Council
Joint Secretary: Employers
Jonathan Sharma (COSLA)
Kathy Cameron (COSLA) (until March 2020)
Joint Secretary: Trade Unions
Simon Watson, UNISON
There are a number of observers and advisers who support the SAB in the deployment of Board business. These include representatives from, and on behalf of, the Scottish Government, formal COSLA officials, pension scheme managers and representatives from professional associations.
The SAB has developed a bespoke website to act as a unique source of information and advice to all stakeholders. The site includes the minutes of SAB meetings along with other governance documentation, guidance documents and details of the Board’s membership. The content of the website will develop as the work of the Board continues.
Similar information is also published on the local government pages of the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) website.
A short bulletin is also published after each meeting covering the key decisions. This bulletin is circulated to key stakeholders and is available on the SAB website
Other useful links are below;
The regulations underpinning the 2013 Act allow the SAB to collect a levy to support its work. In the first year of operation, the SAB adopted a straight proportion of the levy raised by our equivalent SAB in England and Wales equating to £40,000. The SAB secretariat and support function is used from existing resources within both employer and trade union organisations to minimise the financial impact of our work on the public purse. During the business year 2019-20, the SAB retained the bulk of the funds in anticipation of the forthcoming structure review procurement and to meet anticipated costs of the UK online fee transparency portal, to be met by the Scottish SAB. Further detail is contained in the Review of the Year page. A regular financial report is considered by the SAB at each meeting and any monies not used are held over for the following financial year.