Tyne and Wear and Northumberland councils agree £10.2billion pension fund merger - this is what it means for you

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North East jobs could be protected thanks to a £10.2billion pension fund merger deal, town hall chiefs have claimed.

Bosses at South Tyneside Council (STC), which runs the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund, have agreed to press ahead with plans to join up with the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund.

STC has already been providing admin services for the Northumberland fund for about 18 months and following the success of this arrangement the process of transferring full control to STC has started.

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“Sharing this service has been beneficial for both funds, leading to economies of scale, improved resourcing and enhanced services to meet increasingly stringent standards,” said Coun Ed Malcolm, cabinet member for innovation and resources.

“Merging the two funds into one will realise further efficiencies which will accrue from undertaking one governance function and will also incur only one set of governance costs rather than two.”

He added: “The long term benefit of merging for the council is that it will increase resilience to potential future changes and consolidation in the local government pension scheme and this could help protect jobs in the council and the region.”

Coun Malcolm ‘no significant obstacles to the merger’ had been identified so far, although due diligence is ongoing and the government must also approve the plans.

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According to a council report, the Tyne and Wear fund currently has assets worth £8.8billion and Northumberland £1.4billion.

The only previous merger of local government pension funds was between the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond in 2016, part of a wider amalgamation of services between the two councils.