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Contact: Anthony Farrar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Mr A Lamb.
To note the Terms of Reference and Membership of the Board (copy enclosed).
The Terms of Reference were noted. There were no changes of membership to note.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
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 excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Item No 9 – Update on Sargeant Remedy and Immediate Detriment, and Agenda Item No 10 – Verbal Update on Emerging Issues by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as the reports contain information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).
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).
Mr D Harrison declared a non-pecuniary interest. Sellafield and Cumbria County Council have a contract for which Mr Harrison is the Contract Manager.
To receive the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 October 2021.
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 October 2021 be agreed as a true and accurate record.
Schedule of Future Meetings
To note the Schedule of Future Meetings.
Members noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board would take place as follows:-
· 3 May 2022 at 1pm
· 26 July 2022 at 1pm
· 20 October 2022 at 1pm
· 1 February 2023 at 1pm
· 19 April 2023 at 1pm
To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer.
Members considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer which advised them of any material risk management, policy or governance issues and national regulatory changes to 30 September 2021 and any performance monitoring issues of the Scheme to 31 December 2021.
The Senior Advisor – Pensions took members through the report, highlighting the following:
· Risk - The current risk register had 14 risks comprising 2 red risks (information security arrangements and Sargeant Judgement), 2 amber risks and 10 green risks. No risks had been added or removed from the register. Two risk scores had been amended. The Information Security target score had been adjusted from a likelihood score of 2 “unlikely” to 3 “possible”. The overall target score had increased from 10 to 15. The Sargeant Judgement target score had been increased from 4 “likely” to 5 “very likely) this has increased the score from 12 to 15.
· LPPA Performance - In the quarter to 30 September 2021, performance against the KPIs had been 99%, against the SLA target of 95%.
· Legal breaches– members noted there were no legal breaches reported to the Pensions Regulator for the quarter to 30 September 2021.
· Scheme Discretions – members noted that no scheme discretions had been exercised during the quarter.
· Pensions Ombudsman – there had been no cases referred to the Pensions Ombudsman during the period.
· IDRP – The Board were updated on a Stage Two Appeal that had been concluded during the quarter. The panel met to review the details of the case, and they agreed the outcome of the Stage 1 appeal was correct but recognised, that the claimant sought further resolution and after further consideration agreed the claimant should be
· refunded for the cost of applying to the court to have the CCJ removed,
· interest applied to the original debt should be credited.
· recognised that the complainant received below standard service and was offered £500 in respect of non-financial injustice.
The Claimant had been notified within the 2 month deadline.
There was also one other stage 2 appeal which was reported to the board last quarter, where the complainant claimed that their pension estimates were incorrect which also affected the tax and NI paid. The decision of the panel was not to uphold the appeal however, the complainant has been offered an amount in respect of non-financial injustice and has now accepted.
· Data Quality – The Scheme had benefited from the work undertaken before the pandemic, and data held by the Scheme continued to be of a good quality. Using the scoring mechanism as set out by the Pensions Regulator, the Scheme reported that 98.5% of its common data was present and accurate.
· Remedy to Sargeant Age Discrimination Case – There was a separate paper at Item 9 which provided an update on the Sargeant Remedy and Immediate Detriment.
· Training – Immediately after the meeting Claire Hey would deliver a training session which provided an update on current issues which included the implications of Sargeant and O’Brien. ... view the full minutes text for item 91.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
To note that the next meeting will take place at 1pm on 3 May 2022.
The next meeting will be held on 3 May 2022 at 2pm.
Update on Sargeant Remedy and Immediate Detriment
To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer.
Members considered a report from the Chief Fire Officer which provided the Cumbria Fire Local Pensions Board with an update on the remedy to the unlawful Age Discrimination found by the Court of Appeal, in December 2018. This case related to the transitional protection arrangements offered to some older members of the 1992 and 2006 Fire pensions schemes, when the 2015 Fire Pension Scheme was introduced.
The Government consulted on the various options to remove the discrimination and published their response in February 2021. The Deferred Choice Underpin (DCU) had been confirmed as the remedy, meaning those in scope would have the choice between CARE (reformed) or final salary (legacy) benefits for the remedy period, at the point at which the scheme member retired. The remedy is complex; and the main concern relates to how to deal with those who under the legacy scheme would have an immediate entitlement to pension benefits.
Members were advised that the informal and non-statutory guidance on processing certain kinds of claims that was originally published in August 2020, was withdrawn by the Home Office with immediate effect on 29 November 2021, and the Government advises against processing any cases related to immediate entitlement under the remedy, before the legislation is in place, given the risks and uncertainty involved.
RESOLVED, that the Cumbria Fire Local Pensions Board noted the contents of this report.
Verbal Update on Emerging Issues
To receive a general verbal update from the Chief Fire Officer.
The Chief Fire Officer updated the Board on current emerging issues, including:-
· Local Government Reorganistion
· Police & Crime Commissioner consultation
· Venues and timings for Future Meetings