Agenda and draft minutes

Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board
Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Community Room. Carlisle West Fire Station, Brookside, Carlisle CA2 7GW

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email: lorraine.davis@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

24.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

25.

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.

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Item No 9 - Verbal Update on Emerging Issues on the grounds that it contained exempt information as defined under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 relating to the financial or business affairs of particular individuals.

 

26.

Membership and Terms and Reference pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To note any changes in membership and the terms of reference of the Board.

Minutes:

Members were informed that Mrs J Willis had been appointed Chair and Mr D Harrison as Vice Chair for the ensuing two years.

 

The Terms of Reference were noted.

 

27.

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.

 

Note

 

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).  

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest at the meeting.

 

28.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 October 2019 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2019 be agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

29.

Schedule of Future Meetings

To note the future scheduled meetings:-

 

·         5 May 2020 at 1pm at Penrith Fire HQ

·         15 July 2020 at 1pm at Cumbria House, Carlisle

·         22 October 2020 at 1pm at Workington Fire Station

 

Minutes:

The following future scheduled meetings were noted:-

 

5 May 2020 at 1 pm at Penrith Fire HQ

15 July 2020 at 1 pm at Cumbria House, Carlisle

22 October 2020 at 1 pm at Workington Fire Station

 

30.

Monitoring Report for the Period Ending 30 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Board members considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) which advised of any material risk management policy or governance issues and national regulatory changes to 31 December 2019 and any performance monitoring issues of the Scheme to 30 September 2019.

 

The Finance Manager – Pensions informed members that the one risk had been added to the register in the quarter (Sargeant Judgement) and one risk had been removed (Timeliness of Breach Reporting).  Whilst the remedy to the Sargeant judgement was still not known and might not be until the summer of 2020, the new risk highlighted that it was becoming clear that whatever the remedy there would be an additional administration burden that the scheme would seek to adequately resource.  Further information on the likely number of affected members was requested, and would be collated by People Management and circulated to Board members. 

 

The risk register was appended to the report.  Members noted that whilst there had been a number of developments that had led to amendments to the comments associated with some of the risks on the register, there were no proposed amendments to the scores associated with the impact or likelihood of the risks occurring.

 

Members noted that key performance indicators for YPS was 100% (against the SLA of 95%) for the quarter to 30 September 2019.  A discussion took place around call waiting times.  It was agreed that more information on Your Pension Services’ call handling process be brought to the next meeting of the Board.

 

Members were informed that there were no breaches to report for the quarter to 30 September 2019 and that it had not been necessary to exercise any of the Scheme Manager discretions during the period.

 

The Business Partner, People Management updated members on a complaint that had been made to the Pension Ombudsman by a CFRS employee in November 2019.  The CFRS has responded to the complaint within the set deadlines.  Further information would be presented to future meetings as and when it arises.

 

With regards to pensionable pay, it was reported that CFRS, with support from People Management and Payroll were continuing to undertake a review of pensionable pay.  An update report would be given to the next meeting of the Board.

 

A further update on the Annual Benefit Statement 2019 Survey would be given to a future Board meeting.  The completed survey had been supplied within the 6th January deadline.

 

In relation to regulatory changes members noted that there had been no further developments in any of the following areas:-

 

·         Public Sector discretionary exit payment lump sums

·         Public Sector recovery of exit payments regulations (aka the “clawback” regulations)

 

Public Sector Exit Payment Restrictions had been on the government agenda since 2015 and in April 2019, HM Treasury launched a consultation and set draft regulations “The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2019”.  The consultation had closed and an update would be given to the Board after the government released further information (expected after  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

CUMBRIA FIREFIGHTERS’ PENSION SCHEME (FPS) DATA IMPROVEMENT PLAN pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) which advised that Your Pension Scheme (YPS) had carried out a review of data in October 2019 specifically looking at items that the Pension Regulator referred to as common and specific data and this assessment indicated over 99% of common data and over 93% of scheme specific data was present and accurate. 

 

In January 2019 a data plan was developed to further improve the quality of data across the scheme and this report updated members on progress made delivering against the plan during the quarter.  The report concluded that good progress was being made with the actions detailed in the data improvement plan.

 

The Finance Manager - Pensions Investments & Governance informed members of the Member Tracing Exercise and whilst, the process was still ongoing, there were only 25 deferred members remaining to have their current addresses traced. 

 

Members were informed that ten of the outstanding deferred members were aged over 50 and the DWP tracing service had been used in order to trace them.  A response from the DWP was awaited.  Two members were thought to be living abroad and had been written to but no response had been received so far.  Four members were written to at their address shown on the Electoral Register and two had confirmed their current addresses.  The remaining 11 members, all aged 45 and under (and therefore unable to draw their pensions for at least 10 years), would be assessed on a case by case and value for money basis.  Members would be kept informed of progress.  Board members congratulated and thanked the officers on the work undertaken on this.

 

Members were informed of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), a compulsory exercise carried out every two years that matched electronic data within and between the public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.  It was noted that the next data set from the NFI was scheduled to be received in 2020.  The 2018 NFI exercise did not identify any scheme members that had died without the Scheme being aware of it.

 

Members noted that in September 2019 the Government Actuary Department (GAD) had released a high level summary of data issues for Cumbria from the 2016 valuation of the Scheme.  The report noted that data for deferred member had very few issues and that all pensioner records were able to be included in the review.  However, GAD excluded 11% of active member records with the main reason being related to pay or service data.  Further investigations had been progressed with YPS that had revealed a validation error related to a number of new retained starters who were correctly recorded as being enrolled into the 2015 (CARE) Scheme, and it was a false error in the validation process.  YPS had progressed this issue with officers at the Fire Scheme Advisory Board who would raise this with the Home Office.

 

Members were informed that GAD had asked for feedback on the 2020  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Verbal Update on Emerging Issues

To receive a verbal update from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer).

 

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update on matters arising from the Senior Manager, Pensions and Financial Services.  This included an update on the appointment process for a new Chair of the Fire Scheme Advisory Board and the progress of the Pension Scheme Bill including aspects of the proposed Pension Dashboards.