The Essex Pension Fund has been named as the "Defined Benefit Pension Scheme of the Year" at a prestigious awards event. 

The fund saw off the challenge of eight other schemes, including the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Kingfisher Pension Fund and Transport for London, to win the honour at the Pension Age Awards 2015 last week in London.

Essex Pension Fund, which is administered by Essex County Council, has 130,000 scheme members. It is one of 89 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds in England and Wales.

The criteria required the fund to demonstrate excellence in service provision and investment performance, commitment to scheme members, innovation and an understanding of the changing needs of the UK pension market.

The Essex submission included:

  • The adoption of new software (via a procurement framework collaboration with other funds) to enable the fund to operate the new 2014 LGPS benefits structure
  • Administration activities exceeded both target and CIPFA benchmark criteria
  • Investment performance of 9.2% for the 12 months to 31 March 2014 against a local authority average of 6.4%.

Chairman of the Essex Pension Fund Board, Cllr Rodney Bass, said: "The Essex Pension Fund continues to set itself stretching objectives aimed at delivering the highest standard of service to the fund's membership.

"I am delighted the ongoing efforts of Board Members and the Fund's Officers have again been recognised by the wider industry. My congratulations to all concerned."

Director for Essex Pension Fund, Kevin McDonald said: "This is a prestigious award and it is testament to the work of the team of dedicated Officers that this is the third major national award the Fund has won in the last 15 months."