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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-03735: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 12 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body how much is invested in the manufacture, development or marketing of arms by the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme.

Answered by: David Stewart 28 October 2016

I refer the Member to the answer to his previous Questions, S4W-25996 on 17 June 2015, S4W-27614 on 30 September 2015 and S4W-28556 on 1 December 2015.

The Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009 (the Act) introduced new rules for the governance of the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme (the Scheme). The Act transferred ownership of the existing Scottish Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (the Fund) “and all functions, rights, liabilities and obligations in relation to that Fund” from the SPCB to the Fund Trustees.

 

The Scheme rules place a specific duty on the Fund Trustees “to manage and apply [the Fund’s] assets” in accordance with the rules. That includes decisions on investment policy, which the Fund Trustees take independently, taking account of advice provided to them by their professional advisers who are appointed by the trustees in accordance with the Act.

 

The Member may wish to note that in addition to responsibility for investment policy the Fund Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of scheme members as a whole. Consequently, should their investment decisions have an adverse effect on investment returns and overall valuation of the fund then the Fund Trustees can be held publicly accountable. The last triennial fund valuation as at 31 March 2014 returned a surplus of £8.4 million. Should the Fund Trustees investment decisions be a factor in the fund returning a shortfall then the options for making up the shortfall would include increasing scheme member contributions, reducing member benefits or asking the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for additional funding.