The Committee 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 September 2021.
Members noted that by the end of the quarter the market value had increased by £42.2m, to £3.100bn. It was reported that performance for the fund over three years to September 2021 was 8.0%, and was slightly ahead of the benchmark. Members were advised that the last quarter provided a return of 1.3%, outperforming the strategic benchmark by 0.2%.
The Committee were advised that the Fund was in a positive funded position at the quarter end.
Members were advised that final transition of the Funds fixed interest allocations to Sterling Corporate Bonds and Multi-Asset Credit had completed to the Brunel Portfolios during the quarter.
It was explained in terms of the fund administration there was an increased level of activity and the number of retirees had increased significantly.
The Head of Pensions told the Committee staff were still continuing to work under Covid constraints and the administration team continued to do a sterling job in challenging times. In response to a question, members were advised that the administration performance was lower than the target, this was an ongoing issue relating to staffing shortages and partially due to Covid working constraints.
Members were advised that administration was a cause for concern and that performance targets had been affected nationally across the majority of LGPS Funds due to Covid. As a result some Funds had taken the decision to temporarily amend the required performance targets accordingly, however for Gloucestershire it had been decided not to amend the targets but continue to report against them.
It was noted that as part of resourcing levels the ability to recruit and train staff in the current situation was an ongoing issue. The Head of Pensions advised Members the job adverts were due to go live on the website very soon.
The Head of Pensions explained the Annual Report had been published by the deadline, however the accounts were still unaudited at this stage.
In response to a question, it was confirmed that all Chairs of the Local Authority Pension Funds had received correspondence in relation to the – UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Investments in the Israeli settlement economy. It was explained that the scheme advisory board would be debating this issue at their December meeting and would provide the appropriate advice to all LGPS funds in due course. Members asked if it would be possible for the Committee to have sight of the letter.
In response to a request for information on exposures in the new corporate bond portfolio, the Head of Pensions explained that not all asset classes had a clear label of fossil fuels and the fund was instilling responsible investment through its ethos. Due to the recent launch of the portfolio the required reporting had yet to be received to provide the data requested, but this will be able to be provided in the future.
That the Committee noted the market value and quarterly performance of the Gloucestershire Pension Fund as at 30 September 2021.