Agenda item

Pension Fund Annual Report

Minutes:

Mark Spilsbury, Head of the Pension Fund presented the report.  The draft Pension Fund Annual Report for 2016/17, was prepared in accordance with the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations, which set out what should be included with Annual Reports.

 

It was noted that the report largely followed previous year’s reports in terms of content and style.  However, because the timetable for the completion of Annual Accounts had now been brought forward, the draft Pension Fund Annual Report, also included the External Auditors opinion on the Pension Fund Accounts.

 

Officers were pleased to report that the External Auditors concluded that the accounts presented a true and fair view and had been properly prepared in accordance with Codes of Practice for Local Authority Accounting.  It was explained that no errors were identified in the accounts and the quality of the supporting papers were praised by the auditors.

 

The regulations governing the content of the Annual Report required it to be published on or before 1st December following the year end, and subject to any changes requested by the Committee, it was intended that the final Annual Report would be submitted to full Council at its December meeting.

 

Members noted that it was a very long report, however there was limited flexibility regarding the content.

 

During the discussion the following amendments were agreed:

-       That any additional information required within the introduction be delegated to the Chairman and the Director of Strategic Finance. 

-       That the funding level be included within the report,

-       That the Administration’s function and performance be included within the report. 

-       The report required conformity and alignment throughout.

-       Page 49 of the report, a photo for all members of the Committee be included (Peter Clark picture missing)

-       Page 56 of the report, The Analysis of Pension Overpayments be amended to thousands, in order to avoid any confusion.

-       Page 61 of the report, Membership Summary dates needed to be amended accordingly.

-       Page 89, Councillor Stowe remarked that he had attended two training sessions in 2016/17. 

-       Page 97 of the report, Principle E14, Peter Clark informed the Committee that he had not received or completed a self assessment form.  The Head of Pension Fund agreed to check the maintained records.  Action – Mark Spilsbury. 

-       Page 117, Councillor Parsons had been omitted from the membership list. 

 

The Head of the Pension Fund explained that the Pensions Team were focused on producing and distributing the Annual Statements to over 50,000 LGPS members  Members noted that this had a detrimental effect on the Performance Indicators, and would need time to recuperate.  It was noted four additional members of staff had been recruited to help with the process.  

 

In response to a question relating to ‘Death Gratuities’, Officers explained that it was important to ensure the payment was made promptly to alleviate any further stress to the recipient and if necessary, cases of hardship could be processed quicker.  In the Annual Report, the term Gratuities will be changed to Grants. 

 

The Committee questioned the sudden increase in the overpayment figure, as detailed on page 56 of the report.  Officers explained that one large overpayment had been made, however this had now been recovered. 

 

It was noted that the Pension Fund Annual Report was available on the GCC website and copies were available at the Annual LGPS Meeting. Members were informed that a summary was sent to all LGPS pensioners, members requested in the future, to view the summary prior to despatch.  Action – Mark Spilsbury  

 

Members discussed the issue of fraud and if the police were reluctant to prosecute, then the Counter Fraud Hub should be delegated with the task of investigating any such claims.  The Director of Strategic Finance agreed to discuss this further with the Chief Internal Auditor. 

 

Resolved

 

That the report be approved, subject to the following amendments:

-     That any additional information required within the introduction be delegated to the Chairman and the Director of Strategic Finance. 

-     That the funding level review be included within the report,

-     That the Administration’s function and performance be included within the report. 

-     The report required conformity and alignment throughout.

-     Page 56 of the report, The Analysis of Pension Overpayments be amended to thousands, in order to avoid any confusion.

-     Page 61 of the report, Membership Summary dates be amended

-     Page 49 of the report, a photo for all members of the Committee be included (Peter Clark picture missing)

-     Page 89, Councillor Stowe remarked that he had attended two training sessions in 2016/17. 

-     Page 117, Councillor Parsons had been omitted from the membership list. 

-     Page 97 of the report, Principle E14, Peter Clark informed the Committee that he had not received or completed a self assessment form. 

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