Eric Roozendaal


A major NSW public sector fund has successfully sought amendments from Treasury to its trust deed, which will prevent its accumulation section being sold or amalgamated with any other fund, except by the passage of new legislation.

The $6 billion Local Government Super (LGS) was granted the amendments on March 3, the day before the incumbent Labor Government entered caretaker mode in the lead-up to next week’s election.

A spokesman for NSW Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, said: “The NSW Treasurer [has] agreed to administrative amendments of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme Trust Deed.  The Trust Deed is the umbrella document applying to all LGSS schemes.

The amendments removed the need for Ministerial approval for future Trust Deed amendments associated with Pool A (the accumulation division).

The Treasurer still retains control over Board remuneration and amendments to Pool B (the defined benefits division).

These amendments are administrative in nature and allow LGSS greater control over certain aspects of its business, whilst maintaining an appropriate level of state government oversight.”

The chief executive of LGS, Peter Lambert, said the previous arrangements had been “cumbersome”, with a lengthy approval process required for even minor amendments to the trust deed. The Treasurer had to refer any amendments to the Crown Solicitor for review.

“The new arrangements will allow us to make improvements to our benefit design on an ongoing basis,” Lambert said.

Another material benefit of the changes will be that when LGS introduces a transition-to-retirement pension later this year, members of the defined benefit Pool B will no longer have to resign from the public service to access it.

It is understood the amendments are also aimed at preventing mergers or sell-offs being foisted on the LGS Super board, whose employer sponsor is the Local Government Association, and principal employer sponsor the United Services Union (formerly the Municipal Employees Union). Last year, the NSW Energy Industries Super scheme secretly proposed a merger with LGS to Treasury, only to have it rebuffed.

It is understood LGS Super is keen to maintain its strong socially responsible investment programs (which may have been threatened by an energy industry merger), as well as its network of offices outside the Sydney CBD at Newcastle, Wollongong, Lismore, Wagga Wagga and Parramatta.

 

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