Petition launched to reform council pension schemes

A petition has been launched by Unison to compel parliamentary debate on plans to force local government pension funds to invest money in infrastructure projects.

The petition has been signed by 12,000 people so far and aims to caution the government against gambling with council workers’ pensions.

The plans were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in 2015 and will see the assets of 89 pension funds pooled together into six new British Wealth Funds.

Unison maintained that it was not against local government pension schemes (LGPS) being invested in infrastructure. However, it argued decisions should be made by members rather than ministers to ensure the best rate of return.

The petition said: “Government wants powers over LGPS investment funds, but they could gamble away members’ money on infrastructure projects. This is not allowed in any other UK scheme, including the MPs'. The LGPS must be invested in members’ best interests.”

The petition requires 100,000 signatures to be considered for debate in parliament.