Agenda and minutes

Pension Committee - Friday 13 November 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Meeting Room 1&2 - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

57.

Minutes - pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 August 2015.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 August were approved and signed by the Chairman.

58.

Declarations of Interest -

Members of the Committee are invited to declare any financial or pecuniary interest related to specific matters on the agenda.

 

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

Cllr Cooper made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Stroud District

Council and governor at Archway School.

 

Cllr Hay made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Cheltenham Borough Council.

 

Cllr Stowe made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Cotswold District Council

 

Cllr Theodoulou made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Cotswold

District Council.

 

Cllr Parsons made a non-prejudicial declaration as a member of Cotswold District Council.

 

Peter Clark declared that he was a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

59.

Public Questions -

To answer any written questions about matters that are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10.00am on 6 November 2015.

 

To answer any oral question(s) put by members of the public.

 

Depending on the nature of the oral questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

Minutes:

No public questions were received.

 

Cllr Nigel Cooper took the opportunity to raise a question which had been forwarded to him by a colleague:

 

‘what would be the process to discuss the options of divesting from fossil fuels and/or investing a small proportion in Gloucestershire’s economic development? Would there be a process for consulting pension holders on such a suggestion?

 

In response it was explained that based on the Fund’s policies as detailed in the Statement of Investment Principles (SIP):

 

Divesting in fossil fuels – Due to the fiduciary duty on the Committee to maximise investment returns and to keep employer contributions to a minimum, the Fund does not place any restrictions on its specialist fund managers. In addition, the Administering Authority cannot reduce Fund performance to meet ethical or social demands.

 

Investing in Gloucestershire economy – the answer also applies to this.

 

Consultation with pensioners – Given the answers to the previous two points regarding fiduciary duty, these questions would not be referred to scheme members. In additions, their pension benefits are guaranteed by statute irrespective of any reduction in investment returns.

60.

Members' Questions -

To answer any written members’ questions. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10.00am on 6 November 2015.

Minutes:

No members’ questions were received.

61.

Training Update

Minutes:

61.1    Members had welcomed the training for Pension Committee and Pension Board members on 5 November.

 

61.2    Cllrs Parsons and Stowe had attended the Standard Life session in London.

 

62.

Market Valuations and Quarterly Performance Review of the Fund, Third Quarter 2015 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To note the report.

Minutes:

62.1    The committee considered the third quarter report to 30 September 2015, Graham Burrow, Head of Pension Fund, explained that the report showed performance against the agreed indexes with comparisons for quarter 3 and the previous 12 months.

 

62.2    Sharon Crane, Finance Manager Pension Investments & Accounting, outlined the key points of the rest of the report.

 

62.3    Members were shown the actual asset allocation by Fixed Interest, Equities, Property, Multi Asset, Venture Capital and Cash and the percentage against each class compared to the Fund’s agreed target allocation..

 

62.4    With regards to the market valuation of the fund, there had been a fall since the second quarter.

 

62.5    One member asked whether the fund was too volatile and was informed that these were more challenging times for returns and that it had been a poor third quarter. Members discussed whether this volatility was reason to consider making any changes with members expressing a number of views. It was noted that asset allocation would be looked at in response to the Fund’s  tri-annual valuationl review.

 

62.6    The committee recognised that there were a number of factors that would have affected performance and some members emphasised the importance of stability and taking a long-term view with regards to equities. It was suggested that it would be helpful at future meetings to have a short update on current market conditions and what impact these could have. Members suggested that perhaps the independent advisor could give a short verbal update on market conditions.
ACTION                     Graham Burrow/ Steve Tyson

 

63.

Communications Policy Statement

To confirm no changes following consultation

Minutes:

63.1    Graham Burrow explained to members that the changes suggested by members at the last committee meeting to the statement had been made and that following consultation with interested parties no changes had been made.

 

63.2    The Communications Policy Statement had been adopted. 

 

64.

Exclusion of the press and public

Resolved

 

 That in accordance with Section 100 A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following agenda items, because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Minutes:

THAT in accordance with Section 100 A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following agenda items, because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

65.

Exempt Minutes

To approve as a correct record the exempt minutes of the meetings held on

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 14 August 2015 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

66.

Pooling of investments

To update the Committee

Minutes:

66.1                Graham Burrow updated members on the latest developments relating to the pooling of investments.

67.

Admission Body Request

To note the request

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the request for admission to the Fund be approved.

68.

Fund manager meetings in London in August

To discuss any matters arising

Minutes:

RESOLVED

To note the report.

69.

Investment Report - BlackRock

(Starting at 11:05 for 45 mins)

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the presentation be noted.

 

70.

Investment Report - Standard Life

(Starting at 12:00 for 45 mins)

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the presentation be noted.