Venue: The Chairman's Room, Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle
Contact: Shamim Lindsay Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Ms K Powell - Other Employer representative and Councillor David Southward – Cumbria County Council representative.
To note the terms of reference of the Board.
The Terms of Reference and Membership of the Board as amended by the Council on 10 January 2019 were noted.
Disclosures of Interest
Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises
1 Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
2 Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
3 Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority
(a) Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and
(b) Which has not been fully discharged.
4 Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority.
5 Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer.
6 Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)
(a) The landlord is the authority; and
(b) The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.
7 Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where
(a) That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and
(b) Either –
(i) The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.
A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).
There were no disclosures of interests.
The Chair welcomed Neil Sellstrom (Treasury Management & Pensions Adviser – CIPFA), and formally invited him to stay for the full meeting, including Part 2 items, ahead of facilitating the workshop at item 12 on the agenda.
Exclusion of Press and Public
To consider whether there are any items on the agenda for which the press and public should be excluded.
RESOLVED that, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda item No 9 - Review of Pension Administration Matters for the Period, and Agenda item No 10 – Your Pension Service on the grounds that they contained exempt information as defined under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) relating to the financial or business affairs of particular individuals.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Cumbria Local Pension Board meeting held on 31 January 2018 (copy enclosed).
RESOLVED that, the Minutes of the meeting held on 31 January 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.
Schedule of Future Meetings
Future Meetings will be held at Cumbria House, Carlisle at 13:00pm on the following dates: -
· 04 July 2019
· 08 October 2019
· 17 January 2020
The Schedule of future meetings of the Board was noted. The meetings would take place as follows:-
4 July 2019
8 October 2019
17 January 2020
All meetings would take place at Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, at 1pm
To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) summarising the work conducted and decisions made by the Pension Committee at its meeting on 7th March 2019. (copy enclosed).
A report was considered from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) regarding a review of the Pension Committee’s decisions and other matters for consideration during the period. The report summarised the work of the Pensions Committee at its meeting on 7th March 2019 in order that the Board Members could review them as part of their legal responsibility to members of the Cumbria LGPS. The report also advised Members on other matters arising during the period, for consideration.
It was noted that all Pensions Committee papers were published on the Council’s website and a dedicated SharePoint site gave Members the opportunity to view Pension Committee papers in advance of meetings.
The Chair requested that a meeting be set up with the Chair of the Pension Committee to discuss the links between the Pension Committee and Local Pension Board.
The Board was briefed that there had been no legal breaches during the period. The risk register had been reviewed, and there had been no amendments to the scoring of any of the risks. There was one risk assessed as ‘”red” associated with information security arrangements, 3 assessed as “amber”, and 11 “green” rated risks.
Members were informed that at Item 12 on the agenda there would be a workshop facilitated by Neil Sellstrom from CIPFA to consider in more detail the CIPFA Guide for Local Pension Boards.
A summary was provided for Members on recent and proposed future changes to legislation that would impact on the LGPS, including:-
It was agreed that a formal report would be presented to the Pension Committee, by a Board Member, going forward on a quarterly basis. This will provide feedback on issues discussed and matters arising, to supplement the Minutes from the Board which are already included on the agenda.
RESOLVED that, the decisions approved and other matters considered by the Pension Committee at the meeting on 7 March 2019 be noted.
To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) on the findings of the data quality review and the ongoing implementation of the data quality improvement plan (copy enclosed).
A report was considered from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) regarding a Cumbria LGPS data review and data improvement plan.
Whilst it was considered that the Fund’s data was of a good standard, maintaining a data improvement plan and continually striving to improve data quality was considered to be good practice.
At the January meeting Members were informed that in the six months to 31 December 2018 there had been a reduction in pending leavers of 53%, and work is ongoing to further engage with scheme employers to continue to address this. From 2020 this exercise will be completed on an annual basis.
Members were informed that the Fund has engaged a data tracing agency to attempt to verify the correct addresses of all deferred members, and all active members and pensioners who are known to have incorrect addresses. The Fund had originally set an ambitious target of reducing the number of scheme members with missing addresses by 80% before 31 March 2019. Whilst this target is not expected to be met, officers do expect that the data cleansing exercise will be complete before the end of May when member data will be extracted for the actuary to undertake their valuation.
In November and December, the Council’s internal audit undertook a review of data quality within the Fund. The report, a summary of which was received by the Audit & Assurance Committee at its meeting in March, provided ‘substantial assurance’ (the highest level) that ‘there is a sound system of internal control designed to achieve the system objectives’. This was a very positive outcome for the Fund.
An exercise being carried out to review all standard correspondence sent to scheme members from YPS, is still ongoing. An update will be given to the Board at its next meeting in April.
RESOLVED that, the findings of the data quality review be noted and the ongoing implementation of the data quality improvement plan be supported.
PART II: ITEMS LIKELY TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
REVIEW OF PENSION ADMINISTRATION MATTERS DURING THE PERIOD TO MARCH 2019
To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) on Pension Administration matters and request further information and/or feedback to the Pension Committee as appropriate (copy enclosed).
Members received an update on:
· The service provided and monitoring of Your Pension Service (YPS) - the quarter to 31st December 2018 has seen an improvement in performance to pre-restructure levels, with a further update to be provided by YPS in their presentation at agenda item 10.
· Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) Reconciliation.
· Employer Issues and measures taken to mitigate them.
· Fund Discretions - four were exercised in the quarter. A minor amendment to the current Discretions Policy was approved by the S151 Officer in consultation with the Chair of the Pension Committee in March 2019.
· Legal Breaches - there were no legal breaches.
· Pension Ombudsman Opinions - none issued during the period.
· Cost management process (‘cost cap’) – in January the Government announced a pause to the cost management process pending the outcome of an age discrimination case (McCloud) and Court of Appeal judgement, as the result is uncertain and will impact upon scheme costs.
The Board were updated on the Pensions Regulator Cohort Review. The Fund has now completed its series of meetings, and a detailed report will be provided to the next Board meeting when all feedback has been received and considered. The Regulator will publish its final report into its cohort review of the LGPS later this year.
RESOLVED that, the Pensions Administration matters detailed in the report be noted.
Your Pension Service Presentation
Rachel Blundell, Deputy Director – Member Operations, Local Pensions Partnership has been invited to make a presentation to the Board.
Members received a verbal update from Rachel Blundell, Deputy Director, Member Operations at YPS. This included information on personnel, reorganisation in the service, roles and responsibilities of staff, performance, issues arising and the future for YPS. Ms Blundell indicated that provisional performance figures show that YPS is on track to maintain the pre-restructure performance levels reported at 31st December 2018.
It was also reported that YPS have introduced a revised version of My Pension Online (MPO) in April 2019, following end-user testing by officers within the LGPS, and received positive feedback.
The Chair requested that feedback from a recently completed member’s satisfaction survey be fed back at the next Board meeting.
This is now a standing item on the agenda, and Members look forward to a further update at the next meeting.
Verbal Update/Emerging Issues
To receive a general verbal update from Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer).
Members received a verbal update on matters arising from Alison Clark, the Senior Manager - Pensions and Financial Services.
CIPFA Pension Guide
A workshop will be held and facilitated by Neil Sellstrom (CIPFA).
Neil Sellstrom (CIPFA) facilitated a workshop based on the CIPFA Guide for Local Pension Boards, published in May 2018. This involved open discussions to scope the role of the Board, focussing on the following areas:-
· Relationships & Communication
· Work Programme
· Knowledge & Skills
· Responsible Investing
Feedback from Mr Sellstrom on the governance and operation of the Cumbria Local Pension Board was very positive.
It was agreed that a report would be brought to the next Board meeting focussing on the Fund’s response to the ‘21 Quick Questions’ covered in Appendix V to the CIPFA Code.