Bedfordshire Pension Fund members reassured over market fluctuations


Bedfordshire Pension Fund members should have “no concerns” on the scheme’s short or long-term future as it has a “well-diversified portfolio of assets” to manage volatility in the economy, its spokesperson said.

The Fund provides pensions and other benefits to former employees of the local authorities and other admitted bodies within Bedfordshire.

At the end of June, there were approximately 76,100 members in the scheme made up of pensioners, deferred pensioners and active members.

Turmoil in the markets following former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget last month led to the Bank of England buying up bonds to stabilise prices and prevent a sale which some thought might put some pension schemes at risk.

Sky News reported that Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Bank’s deputy governor for financial stability, told the Treasury Select Committee chairman, Mel Stride, it launched an emergency £65bn bail-out gilt-buying programme to prevent a “self-reinforcing spiral”.

But the Bank said this action will end on Friday 14 October.

According to the BBC, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, said on Tuesday (11 October) that pension funds have “an important task” to ensure they are resilient.

But despite the recent problems in the UK’s money markets, the Bedfordshire Pension Fund said members should not be concerned about the scheme’s future.

Its spokesperson said: “The Bank of England has intervened to buy bonds to support those pension funds with liability driven investment strategies (LDI).

“Bedfordshire Pension Fund does not have an LDI strategy.

“The Fund holds a well-diversified portfolio of assets to manage the risk of volatility in the economy, and currently has limited exposure to government bonds.

“The Fund also has sufficient liquid assets to manage market fluctuations.

“Scheme Members should have no concerns on the future of Bedfordshire Pension Fund in the short or long term.

“The defined benefit pension scheme means pensions are based on salary and how long a member pays into the Scheme. #

“Pensions paid are not affected by how well investments perform and therefore the current volatile conditions in the market will have no effect on pensions paid,” they said.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter