Archive

Archive for October, 2013

Council invests £5m in tobacco and £164,000 on stop smoking services (From Your Local Guardian)

Council invests £5m in tobacco and £164,000 on stop smoking services (From Your Local Guardian).

 

In this article the pension committee chair calls for a change in the law to enable pension fund committees to divest from tobacco, without fear of legal challenge.

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Are tobacco stocks no longer bulletproof? – Citywire

Are tobacco stocks no longer bulletproof? – Citywire.

With tobacco volumes down again in the latest figures from BAT and Lorillard, and the rise of E-cigs, analysts are beginning to question whether tobacco stocks remain “bulletproof”.  This article outlines the trends, and with tobacco stocks seriously under performing the market in the last year or so,  it does beg the question whether LA pension funds should stay with tobacco.  If nothing else it gives fund managers and councillors the opportunity to question long held positions.

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Tobacco investment ‘big example of LGPS conflicts’

Tobacco investment ‘big example of LGPS conflicts’.

 

The DCLG recently had a consultation on the future of the local government pension scheme.  This article reports a civil servant stating that tobacco investments was by far the biggest issue raised, which is both remarkable in itself, given the many issues and concerns around pensions, but also a marker of how important it is to address this issue.

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Council pensions seek legal advice on tobacco stocks

Council pensions seek legal advice on tobacco stocks.

More details on the Advisory Board’s request for legal advice.

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Council pension funds seek legal advice over contentious tobacco investments – Blue and Green Tomorrow

Council pension funds seek legal advice over contentious tobacco investments – Blue and Green Tomorrow.

I hope the Advisory Board will publish the letter, so that the nature of the advice requested is transparent.  This is important because the legal advice offered by a QC will depend to some extent on the nature of the questions asked of him.  Given that there are pension fund committee members in local authorities who would very much like to divest from tobacco companies, but feel constrained by legal uncertainty, and equally members who would like to retain these investments but feel under pressure, it is vital that the QC is given sufficient remit to provide clear opinions on how both the FCTC and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 affect local government pension law and practice.

Whichever side of the debate you favour, all are agreed that legal certainty is needed.

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