Lothian and Falkirk pension funds decide not to merge

Lothian Pension Fund (LPF) and Falkirk Council Pension Fund (FCPF) announced they will not be progressing with their proposed merger.

Lothian Pension Fund has over £9.6 billion of assets and administers the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in Edinburgh and the Lothians. It is a multi-employer scheme with more than 87,500 members and 63 employers.

Falkirk Council Pension Fund (FCPF) administers the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for
Falkirk, Stirling, and Clackmannanshire Councils and for various other organisations. It has
around 37,000 members and 24 active employers.

“In 2020 after many years of collaboration, the Pension Committees of the Lothian and Falkirk Council pension funds agreed to explore the feasibility of a merger between Lothian Pension Fund (LPF) and Falkirk Council Pension Fund (FCPF),” said Lothian Pension Fund in a statement.

“After considering a comprehensive business case that set out the benefits to each fund, both individually and collectively, and confirming the feasibility of the merger, the Committees approved a merger subject to approval by both councils.

“On 1 June 2023, following a high-level consideration of some issues, the award winning LPF was asked by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) to consider how to enhance the current governance model and explore options for the relationship with FCPF rather than proceeding with the merger at this time.

“Following this request, at their committee meeting on 27 September, CEC’s Pensions Committee approved the motion to cease exploration of the merger at this time, with a view to re- looking at options in two years’ time.

“Although not the original planned outcome, the exploration of the merger has been a valuable project for both Funds. LPF and FCPF have delivered various improvements, including further alignment of the investment and pensions administration processes.

“Key successes include the roll out of member self-service, and of new systems and processes across FCPF, such as automated workflow. These bring benefits to members and colleagues alike and leave both Funds in a strong
position and well placed to continue collaborating.

“We will continue working to deliver the best service we can for our members and employers and make it a great place for our colleagues. We will carry on with our successful collaboration with Falkirk and other strategic partner funds.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams from both Pension Funds and
Councils for their hard work to support the project.

“Falkirk Council Pension Fund will continue their close relationship with Lothian Pension Fund, which over the years has resulted in excellent outcomes and benefits for our members.

“Both Funds have a proven track record of successful collaboration and the work done to date in preparation for a potential merger has helped to improve the funds and strengthen existing relationships.”