To consider a report by the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed).
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 April 2020).
It was noted that the number of FPS members that had enrolled for My Pension Online, as at 30 September 2019, had remained at 40% of all scheme members. A discussion took place on how to encourage members to enrol for this service.
Board members were notified of relevant training events and encouraged to attend. Members were also advised that officers from the Scheme Advisory Board would be attending the next Board meeting on 5 May 2020 to provide an update on the Schemes and training on a number of topics.
(1) the performance of the Cumbria Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (FPS) to 30 September 2019 be received and material policy and governance issues and national regulatory changes to 31 December 2019 be noted;
(2) information on Your Pension Services’ call handling process be brought to the next meeting of the Board;
(3) an update report on Pensionable Pay be brought to the next meeting of the Board.