Agenda and minutes

Pension Board
Friday 23 October 2015 1.45 pm

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Stephen Bace  01452 324204

Items
No. Item

7.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies at the meeting.

 

8.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Owen Shaw confirmed that he had now retired from Cirencester College. Owen enquired whether this would have any impact on his position as a member of the Pension Board. Action by – Graham Burrow

9.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Pension Board meeting held on 13 July 2015 were agreed and signed as a correct record of that meeting.

10.

Upcoming Training day

Pension Committee and Pension Board training day on 5 November 2015.

 

The training will be from 10:00 to approximately 15:30 and will take place in Shire Hall. All members of the Pension Board are invited to attend.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that a training day for the Pension Committee and Pension Board would be held at Shire Hall, Gloucester at 10.00 am on 5 November 2015. All members of the Pension Board were invited to attend.

11.

Pension Fund Accounts 2014/15 and the External Auditor's Audit Findings Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To note and consider any points arising from these papers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Graham Burrow, Head of Pension Fund at Gloucestershire County Council, informed the Pensions Board that the Pension Committee had considered the Pension Fund’s Annual Accounts for 2014/15 at its meeting in August 2015. The Audit and Governance Committee had subsequently agreed the accounts in September 2015, and had considered the Audit Findings Report 2014/15.

It was noted the external auditor had recommended a review of user access segregation conflicts within the County Council’s SAP system. Management were going to undertake a review. The external auditor also recommended that management reduce the number of users with access to privileged transactions. The outcomes will be reported back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The Pension Board noted the Pension Fund Annual Accounts 2014/15 and the External Auditors Audit Findings Report 2014/15.

 

12.

Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 345 KB

To consider a report on the Fund performance indicators identified in the Pension Fund Annual Report and other performance indicators being piloted by the Scheme Advisory Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Pension Board received information on the performance indicators included in the 2014/15 Annual Pensions Report and an update on draft Key Performance Indicators that are being piloted by the national Scheme Advisory Board.

 

Graham Burrow, Head of Pension Fund, informed the Board that, to meet the reporting mechanism requirements referred to in the Guidance Document for Local Government Pension Scheme Funds 2014, a number of  performance indicators, (Annex 1 to the report), are included in the Pension Fund’s Annual Report. The performance indicators fell into two categories, the first, to assess the ‘financial performance’ of the fund, and the second, to consider its ‘administrative management performance’.

 

The Head of Pension Fund reported that the Fund had not met the deadline of 31st August 2015 for issuing Annual Benefit Statements to active and deferred scheme members. This was a result of receiving employer returns for 2014/15 after the statutory deadline of 30th June. To avoid a similar occurrence in 2015/16 steps would be taken to ensure employer information was provided on time in future. An update would be provided to the next meeting of the Pension Board.

 

The missed deadline had been reported to the Pension Regulator and no penalties were imposed subject to the Benefit Statements being sent out by 30th November. (This was achieved)

 

. Action by Graham Burrow

 

In considering the results of an employer satisfaction survey undertaken in 2014/15, the Board noted that only one complaint had been received. The Board felt it might be useful to receive information on the outcomes of any complaints . Action by Graham Burrow

 

The Pension Board requested an update on the key performance indicators that are being developed by the Scheme Advisory Board.

The Pension Board

 

RESOLVED to note: -

 

a)    The Performance Indicators included in the Pension Fund Annual Report at Annex 1, and

 

b)    The Scheme Advisory Board Key Performance Indicators at Annex 2

 

 

13.

Policy Documents

Board members have considered the following policy documents:

 

·         Governance Policy statement

·         Governance compliance statement

·         Statement of Investment Principles (SIP)

·         Funding Strategy Statement (FSS)

·         Administration Strategy

·         Communication Policy

 

The documents can be viewed at: http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/extra/pensions/investments

 

 

To consider any items arising from this.

Minutes:

The following policy documents were considered at a training session that had been held earlier that day: -

 

a)    Government Policy Statement

b)    Governance Compliance Statement

c)    Statement of Investment Principles (SIP)

d)    Funding Strategy Statement (FSS)

e)    Administration Strategy

f)     Communication Policy

g)    Business Plan – Gloucestershire Pension Fund 2015-16

h)   Pension Fund Risk Register

i)     Pension Committee Plan 2015/16

j)      Draft Shadow Scheme Advisory Board Plan 2015

k)    Note to Pension Committee regarding LGPS pooled investments (exempt)

 

The documents can be viewed at the following link: -

 

http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/extra/pensions/investments

 

 

14.

Work Plan for 2015/16

To consider which of the potential work strands as contained within its terms of reference the Board wishes to prioritise in order that it can plan accordingly and make best use of limited time.

 

In preparing a work plan for the coming year, the Board may wish to consider the following-

 

·         Considering the fund’s management, administrative and governance processes to ensure compliance with the Regulator’s Code of Practice

·         Considering compliance of decisions taken by the fund’s delegated decision makers with regulations and the funds own policies

·         Ensuring that the fund’s policies setting out how it will exercise its discretions under the LGPS are up to date and compliant.

·         Considering the funds own policies on, for example, communications, governance, administration for compliance with regulations

·         Any other matters as requested by the administering authority

 

To also consider other items for the Work Plan.

Minutes:

The Pension Board was asked to consider which of the following work strands it wished to prioritise when considering its work programme: 

 

  • The Fund’s management, administrative and governance processes to ensure compliance with the Regulator’s Code of Practice

  • Compliance of decisions taken by the Fund’s delegated decision makers with regulations and the funds own policies

  • Ensuring that the Fund’s policies, (including how the Pension Fund intended to exercise its discretions under the Local Government Pension Scheme), are up to date and compliant.

  • The funds own policies, including for example, communications, governance, administration for compliance with regulations

  • Any other matters, as requested by the administering authority

 

Noting the dates of forthcoming Pension Committee meetings, as

 

Friday 13 November 2015

Friday 27 November 2015 (Annual Meeting)

Friday 12 February 2016

Friday 13 May 2016

Friday 12 August 2016

Friday 11 November 2016

Friday 2 December 2016

 

it was suggested that the Board consider what items it wished to consider in the short term, (urgent, more specific items), and what items it wished to consider as periodic or regular updates, before scheduling the dates of meetings to coincide with committee meetings.

 

The following proposals were made: -

 

1)    Risk Register–April 2016

2)    Investment Fees –April 2016

3)    Key Performance Indicators – April 2016

 

The Pension Board suggested   future meetings should include updates on the government’s proposals for the pooling of investments..

 

To aid communication between the Pension Committee and the Pension Board, it was suggested the Board receive Pension Committee papers on publication of the committee agenda, followed by an invitation for board members to attend committee meetings, (in an observer capacity), for matters of particular interest.

 

Members requested that a standard item be included on the agenda of future Pension Board meetings, to allow its members to refer any concerns or considerations to the Pension Committee. 

 

15.

Development of a training strategy regarding Knowledge and Understanding

Board members have a statutory requirement to be conversant with LGPS regulations, wider pensions regulation and the requirements of the Pensions Regulator and have an individual responsibility to acquire such knowledge. The Board therefore need to develop a training strategy designed to help all its members to acquire knowledge and skills to ensure their training needs are met.

 

To consider further actions for the development of a training strategy.

Minutes:

It was noted that the Pension Committee was due to receive training on 5 November 2015 and that the Pension Board was welcome to attend the training, which would be held at Shire Hall, Gloucester at 10.00 am.

 

Having requested details of LGA training dates in 2016, member’s attention was drawn to point 5.5 of the minutes of the previous meeting, (13 July 2015), and the proposal that should a member wish to attend the 3 day LGA training course, it should be with the agreement of the Board. Furthermore, discussions to be held with neighbouring authorities to identify what training might be available locally.

 

16.

Next Meeting

To set the date of the next meeting(s) of the Board.

Minutes:

It was suggested that the Pension Board meet in either March or April 2016, and again in October 2016.

 

Action by – Stephen Bace