Pooling and ACCESS

The Government encouraged LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) funds to work together to, “pool investments to significantly reduce costs, while maintaining investment performance.”

In response, the Norfolk Pension Fund works together with ten like-minded LGPS Funds under the name of ACCESS (A Collaboration of Central, Eastern and Southern Shires). Individually the participating funds have a strong performance history and by working together can potentially deliver substantial benefits by sharing their investment expertise.

Collectively the ACCESS Pool has significant scale with assets of £44 billion, managed on behalf of 3,534 employers and over 1.1 million members. ACCESS began the process of transferring individual fund assets into the pooled arrangement during 2018-19. Excluding passive assets, as at 31 March 2020, £11 billion was transferred to the pool including £770m of Norfolk Pension Fund assets.

The ACCESS Funds are Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and West Sussex.

ACCESS Statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The ACCESS Joint Committee met on Monday 7 March 2022.

At that meeting the 11 Local Authorities that make up the ACCESS Pool unanimously condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.

The extent of direct Russian-based investment within the ACCESS Pool has only ever been on a very small scale, and as at 1 March 2022 accounted for just 0.05% of pooled assets. Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK and other governments, the Russian equity market closed and Russian stocks have been excluded from major indices. As a result of these actions, the value of ACCESS Pool holdings in local Russian shares, ADRs and GDRs has been written down to zero. At this time, ACCESS has received assurances from our partners involved regarding the cessation of all new purchases of Russian securities until further notice.

On behalf of the Joint Committee, and with our partners and advisers, the ACCESS Support Unit will continue to monitor the situation. Furthermore, the ACCESS Authorities will continue to review and monitor their investments including approaches to exiting Russian-based investments when that is practicable.

The Committee‘s thoughts throughout this time remain with the courageous people of Ukraine.

Climate change

Climate risk is a systemic risk that may have a material financial impact on a pension fund’s assets and liabilities. The Norfolk Pension Fund is committed to understanding and monitoring its exposure to climate related risks. The Fund has therefore introduced reporting on climate related exposures on a six-monthly basis across a number of key metrics and you can read our latest report here.


The Norfolk Pension Fund is committed to demonstrating good Corporate Governance and Responsibility in its investment strategy. We recognise that as a large investor we have a responsibility to use our shareholder voting rights and support good governance in the companies in which we invest. Our overall investment strategy, including our voting policy, is set out in our Investment Strategy Statement. 

We are members of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). The LAPFF exists to promote the investment interests of local authority pension funds, and to maximise their influence as shareholders whilst promoting corporate social responsibility and high standards of corporate governance amongst the companies in which they invest.

We publish details of our  Investment Holdings annually to coincide with our year-end (31 March). The Norfolk Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts, published following the completion of the statutory audit in the autumn, includes additional detail and disclosure of our investment transactions.

Norfolk Pension Fund Voting

Norfolk Pension Fund voting is undertaken on our behalf by ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services) in accordance with our bespoke policy. For assets that are held in the ACCESS Pool, voting is undertaken by the Fund Manager in accordance with the ACCESS voting policy and collated by the pools operator Link Fund Solutions Ltd (Link).

We publish a record of our voting activity at company Annual General Meetings (AGMs) where the Norfolk Pension Fund has a holding. From 2019, voting records are supplied by ISS for non-ACCESS pooled assets and Link for all ACCESS pooled assets (add link to voting records on NPF website). The Voting Report for Q1 2024 can be viewed here and the 2023 Voting Report can be viewed here.   

Prior to 2019, voting records were supplied by ISS for all mandates except the Fidelity equity pooled funds. Details of the Fidelity voting record can be found here.

The voting activity of the Pension Fund is reported to Pensions Committee twice a year in quarters 1 and 3. Pensions Committee papers are available on the Norfolk County Council website.


Managers have policies on responsible investment which include the issues on which they engage:

Engagement monitoring is reported to the Pensions Committee in quarters 1 & 3 each year at the same time as our voting activity.