UK - Local authority pension funds should increase democracy by appointing more member representatives on to their pension committees.
Transport & General Workers’ Union senior shop steward Martin Clift said that although such representatives did not have any voting powers they could help funds provide a better link to its members.
Clift – a representative on the superannuation committee of the £5bn West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities Pension Fund – added that making use of member representatives could also reduce the workload of scheme managers by helping to pass on information to workers.
He explained: “Member representatives have a vested interest in the fund’s success and any fund which does not fully utilise its member representatives is wasting a valuable opportunity.”
While member representatives do not need to be from trade unions, Clift argued that the network and resources available to union representatives could be another valuable resource to the fund – providing links to the TUC and also the union’s branch, regional and national networks.
But the idea was opposed by some delegates who felt that as elected members were responsible for a scheme, they should make the decisions.
They also pointed out that some scheme were too small to have such member representatives.
However London Borough of Newham Pension Scheme trade union representative Brian Ward said the size of scheme had nothing to do with whether there were member trustees or not. He felt every scheme should have such representation.
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