The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published the response to its informal consultation on the admitted body status provisions (ABS) in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

The consultation document, published in January (see Pensions Update, February 2008), outlined three possible approaches for dealing with concerns about implementation of the ABS provisions (providing revised guidance, updating guidance and making minor regulatory changes and making broader regulatory changes without upsetting the key policy basis of ABS). Most respondents agreed that these approaches would help address those concerns, with a third of respondents considering that a mixture of the three approaches would be required.

The current guidance, Local Government Act 1999: Part 1: best value and performance improvement was last updated in 2003. Most respondents agreed that revised guidance which included clarification of the purposes of the legislation would help improve understanding of ABS.

Only half of the respondents thought that making minor regulatory amendments set out in option 2 (including a provision to refund any surplus at the end of a contract to a contractor and requiring annual actuarial monitoring of contracts) would improve the existing ABS framework.

The DCLG now intends to work with stakeholders to develop substantive guidance dealing with the key issues contained in the report and to develop final proposals incorporating any necessary regulatory amendments for future consultation.