To consider a report by the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed).
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 valuation draft data specification and YPS had responded to this and included a comment about the validation error. An update would be given to members when received.
Members noted that there had been no general data protection regulation (GDPR) breaches relating to the Cumbria FPS since the implementation of GDPR in May 2018.
RESOLVED, that the report and data quality improvement plan be noted.