The National Association of Pension Funds has called for a minister with specific and sole responsibility for infrastructure to be appointed ensuring suitable assets from pension fund investors are used in government projects.
The NAPF unveiled its pre-election manifesto yesterday, with chief executive Joanne Segars urging the government to open the door to large-scale pension fund investment in the UK's infrastructure.
She said what pension funds were seeking were infrastructure investments that could match their liabilities with low-risk, long-term, inflation-linked cash return.
'[This is] effectively an alternative to gilts, of which there is a shortage. But as we've seen from recent announcements, such as the government's plan to sell its stake in Eurostar, this is not always the infrastructure investment on offer - which is why our manifesto calls for a steady pipeline of suitable assets.
'Historically, even where suitable infrastructure assets have been available, it has been difficult for pension funds to invest.
'The NAPF has worked to address this with the Pension Infrastructure Platform, or PIP, but the government must do its part.'
Last year, the NAPF launched the PIP, a £2bn scheme aimed at enabling UK pension funds to invest in 'core' infrastructure projects that are free of construction risk and not subject to usage.