Agenda and minutes

Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board - Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will not be held in a physical location. Please see the link below to access the meeting

Contact: Jackie Currie  Email:

No. Item



To undertake the roll call and receive any apologies for absence.



There were no apologies for absence.




To note the Terms of Reference and Membership of the Board (copy enclosed)



Members were informed that since the last formal meeting of the Board the Terms of Reference had been amended to correct two minor inaccuracies.  These were noted by members.


There were no changes in membership to note.




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 interest made.




To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any items on the agenda.



RESOLVED,     that the press and public be not excluded from any items on the agenda today.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive the minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 February 2020  (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 February 2020 be agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chair.



Schedule of Future Meetings

To note the Schedule of Future Meetings:-

Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 1pm – venue to be confirmed

Wednesday 21 April 2021 at 1pm - venue to be confirmed



Members noted that future meetings of the Fire Local Pension Board would be held as follows:


·      3 February 2021 at 1pm – venue to be confirmed

·      21 April 2021 at 1pm – venue to be confirmed



Monitoring Report for the Period ending 30 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


Members considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer which advised the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board Members of any material risk management, policy or governance issues and national regulatory changes to 30 September 2020 and any performance monitoring issues of the Scheme to 30 June 2020.


The Technical Finance Officer took members through the report, highlighting the following:


·      Risk - the current risk register had 13 risks comprising 1 red risk (information security arrangements); 2 amber risks (pension administration processes and the Sargeant Judgement); and 10 green risks.


There was 1 new risk which had been added, which was the impact of COVID-19 on Pensions’ Administration, which had potential for resourcing issues within Local Pensions Partnership (currently trading as Your Pension Service (YPS) in Cumbria) and the Fund to continue to provide an effective pensions administration service through the pandemic. The risk has a score of 6 (“moderate” but “unlikely”).


The Scheme and YPS had sought to mitigate this risk where possible to ensure that the Scheme could operate effectively throughout the pandemic with limited risk to the scheme members and the employer.


In addition to the new risk detailed above, the comments associated with some risks had been amended to reflect a number of developments including the release of the consultation on the proposed resolution to the Sargeant judgement.  However, there has been no amendments to the scoring of any of the risks.


·      YPS Performance - in the quarter to 30 June 2020, performance against all but one of the KPIs had been 100%, against the SLA target of 95%. One case in the ‘other’ category was resolved one day late, therefore reduced the quarterly performance to 99%.  However, other than June 2020, performance has been 100% for every month since September 2019. The risk register noted that COVID-19 posed a significant risk to the administration service provided to the Fund. It was therefore a positive outcome that YPS performance had not been materially affected by the pandemic.


The report noted a slight increase in the number of scheme members signed up to My Pension On-Line (MPO).


·      Local Pensions Partnership Reorganisation - Local Pensions Partnership (which operated in Cumbria as Your Pension Service) had, over the past year reviewed its internal structures. The organisation had recently separated its pensions administration services from its asset investment services.


The Local Pensions Partnership administration business was currently reviewing its existing practices and aiming to standardise a range of its key activities across all of its clients (of which Cumbria FPS was one), for example, the production of quarterly reports and the development of a new member and employer facing website, to be launched later this year. To aid, this, the organisation would be moving away from using the “Your Pension Service” brand and standardising naming conventions for all clients to Local Pensions Partnership Administration (LPPA).


·      Legal breaches recorded/reported during the quarter – members noted there are no breaches to report for the quarter to 30th June 2020.


·      Scheme Discretions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Cumbria FLPB Training Policy & Plan pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


The Board considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which updated on the areas that had been identified as requiring additional training for Board members and was informed by the responses received to the Board’s annual training needs assessment questionnaire.


Board Members were also encouraged to undertake their own personal training for example through the Pensions Regulator’s Public Sector Pension Scheme Trustee Toolkit.


It was a legal requirement (per The Pensions Act 2004) that every individual who was a member of a Local Pension Board met specific knowledge and understanding obligations. As Board Members were aware, these legal responsibilities were on an individual level and began from the date they were appointed to their role on the Board.


To facilitate compliance with this, the Scheme Manager must make appropriate training available to Board members to assist them in undertaking their role and must support all Board members in carrying out that training. 


During the period from March to September 2020, at the height of the reaction and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the formal meetings of Cumbria FLPB were ‘stood down’. Officers had advised Board members of on-line training opportunities to ensure appropriate opportunities continued to be available for Board Members to maintain their skills and knowledge.


As members were aware, since the initial impact of the pandemic on planned events, the use of electronic means for enabling meetings and the delivery of online training had evolved considerably.  It was therefore anticipated that, as in previous years, the 2021/22 plan would reflect both core and wider training requirements identified by the 2020 training needs assessment questionnaire (due to be undertaken in December 2020).


With reference to the Training Plan 2020/21 the December 2019 training needs assessment questionnaire was sent to all members and substitute members of the Board.  The completed responses were collated and assessed the resulting training plan focusses on the core training needs identified by the evaluation questionnaires together with up and coming national legislative/policy changes, ongoing work specific to Firefighters’ Pension Schemes.

In addition to the above, members of the Fire Local Pension Board and officers that supported this function had access to a dedicated SharePoint site, containing reference material pertaining to the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes. The site contained an archive library of the Fire Board report packs, all of the FPS Bulletins, guidance documents and training materials from training events attended. 

RESOLVED, that the Board


(1)      consider and approve the updated Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board Training Policy, and

(2)      approve the specific training plan for the Board for 2020/21.


Cumbria FLPB Reports to Council pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


Members of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer, which provided an Annual Report outlining the work of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board in 2019/20, and an update to Council for the six months ending 30 September 2020.


In its role in assisting the Scheme Manager the Board was required to report to Council on matters reviewed and suggestions for its consideration. To comply with this requirement the report contained, in Appendix 1, the Annual Report of the Fire Local Pension Board for 2019/20, and at Appendix 2 a draft report “Update to Council for the six months ending 30September 2020”.


Where the Fire Local Pension Board was concerned that due consideration had not been given to matters of non-compliance, the Board may submit a report for consideration by the Audit and Assurance Committee as the body designated by the Scheme Manager with the capacity to investigate such matters on its behalf.


The Board had no such matters of non-compliance that were considered appropriate to raise with the Audit and Assurance Committee.


The Annual Report for 2019/20 was presented to the Board as an appendix to the Scheme Update paper, circulated by e-mail in July 2020, and followed up by a group call.  There were no issues arising from this review.


The Annual Report for 2019/20 was then presented to Council on 9 September 2020 by Councillor Arthur Lamb, and the report noted.  It was attached as Appendix 1 to this report for formal approval by the Board.


A draft report “Update to Council for the six months ending 30 September 2020” was attached at Appendix 2 for approval by the Board ahead of presenting to Council in early 2021, as required by the Terms of Reference.


Members noted that the Update Report for Council was scheduled to go in early 2021.  The full Council meeting scheduled for January 2021 had been cancelled, so members wondered if it would be possible to take the Update to full Council in November instead,  Officers AGREED to investigate whether this was possible.


RESOLVED,     that the Board


(1)      Formally approve the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board for 2019/20; and

(2)      Approve the draft “update to Council for the six months ending 30 September 2020” report for presentation to the County Council, possibly in November 2020.




To note that the next meeting will take place on 3 February 2021.



At the conclusion of this meeting the Board Members will receive a training session led by a Senior Pension Adviser from the Local Government Association.



The next meeting will be held on 3 February 2021 at 1pm – venue to be confirmed.