The Board is asked to note the report.
The Head of Pensions presented an overview of market valuations and an update on the performance of the Fund, as at 30 June 2021.
Members noted that by the end of the quarter the market value had increased by £159.5m, to £3.058bn. It was reported that performance for the fund over three years to March 2021 was 8.4%, and was slightly ahead of the benchmark by 0.4%. Members were advised that the last quarter provided a return of 5.4%, outperforming the strategic benchmark by 0.8%.
The Board were advised that the Fund was in a healthy positive funded position at the quarter end. The Head of Pensions explained this was the first time ever the fund had exceeded £3bn.
The Board were referred to the LGPS Investment Performance benchmarking undertaken by PIRC on page 17 of the report, which showed that Gloucestershire was above the LGPS universe average for 2020/21.
Members were advised that final transition of the Funds fixed interest allocations to Sterling Corporate Bonds and Multi-Asset Credit had taken place to the respective Brunel Portfolios during the quarter. It was noted that no rebalancing of the portfolios had taken place during the quarter. The Board were advised that the Committee would review the final transition in December, it was also noted that over 95% of the fund was now invested with Brunel. In addition Brunel were doing work on the Paris aligned portfolio benchmark and would report its finding back to Committee in December 2021.
The Head of Pensions explained there was a marked increase in the number of retirement estimates, which had now appeared returned to pre-Covid levels. It was noted that the Pensions Administration Team had produced the Annual Benefit Statements ahead of the statutory deadline of 31 August. The Head of Pensions told the Board there were a number of issues staff had faced during the pandemic but overall the administration team were doing a fantastic job in challenging times.
The Chair wished to know how many statements weren’t issued, the Head of Pensions didn’t have the information to hand and agreed to circulate the information via email.
Members were advised that in terms of administration performance indicators for this quarter they were always challenging, however this was not a reflection of the performance that would be achieved as the year progressed. The Head of Pensions explained that resources were redeployed during the first quarter to deal with major projects, such as the year end process and the production of the Annual Benefit Statements. In addition staff were still working in a Covid enforced environment.
The Head of Pensions explained that in accordance with the knowledge and skills assessment, a training plan was being developed for members. In addition Brunel had offered investor seminars for members to attend virtually. If members were unable to attend, then the links to the recordings would be would be circulated in due course.
That the Board noted the market value and quarterly performance of the Gloucestershire Pension Fund as at 30 June 2021.