LGPS: how integrated risk management can help shape your strategy 

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With governance and other risks intensifying, an integrated approach can help shape your strategy.

The governance requirements for pension schemes, both in the public and private sectors, are changing with the Pensions Regulator (TPR) planning to move to a Single Modular Code and after the recommendations of the Good Governance Project in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) were released in 2021.

Since 2019, there has been a regulatory requirement for “trustees to have an effective system of governance proportionate to the size, nature and complexity of the scheme and to carry out and document an own risk assessment”. Alongside that, the Good Governance Project recommended that LGPS funds should carry out a biennial independent governance review — an approach completely consistent with the private sector.

We launched our Forensic Integrated Risk Management (FIRM) assessment to meet the needs of schemes in the private sector. We have now built on that work to adapt FIRM for the LGPS to focus on 10 key areas (see graphic).

FIRM enables your fund to review risk, governance, operations and investments, set goals and monitor progress.

Example spider chart output showing how a scheme performs against the 10 key areas split over four headings. These are: Heading Risk, areas Funding and costs, and employer risks. Heading Governance, areas delegations, decision making, and contingency planning. Heading Investments, areas strategy and climate risk. Heading Operations, areas member experience, data quality and administration.

The FIRM approach to risk contingency planning

Watch the video to hear Nigel Thomas, Head of LGPS at Mercer, speak about how FIRM works and how it can help LGPS funds define future plans.

When Nigel presented this to the PLSA Local Authority Conference in 2021, 95% of respondents believed FIRM should be used to actively shape future strategies — with decision-making, data quality and employer risks the areas where greatest improvement could be made.

Please contact your usual Mercer consultant, or complete the form below, if you would like to find out more about how FIRM could help you.

With governance requirements increasing for the LGPS and other risks intensifying, our integrated risk management assessment provides the insight you need to shape your strategy and monitor progress.
Nigel Thomas

Head of LGPS

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