Agenda and minutes

Surrey Local Pension Board
Monday, 4 July 2016 1.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room C, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions

Contact: Andrew Spragg 

Items
No. Item

18/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

    Minutes:

    Apologies were recieved from Paul Bundy and Tina Hood.

     

    The Board welcomed Paresh Rajani who had been appointed as a member representative to the Board following nomination by Unison. His appointment had been made by the People, Performance and Development Committee on 3 May 2016.

19/16

MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 9 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

20/16

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

     

    Minutes:

    Trevor Willington asked that it be noted that he is a governor at Nescot College, which is an employer in the scheme.

     

    David Stewart asked that it be noted that he was employed by Hammersmith and Fulham, an authority whose pension administration is provided  by Surrey County Council as part of the Orbis Partnership.

     

     

21/16

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    Notes:

     

    1. The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (28 June 2016).

    2. The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (27 June 2016)

    3. The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

    Minutes:

    There were no questions or petitions received.

22/16

ACTION TRACKER pdf icon PDF 135 KB

    The Board is asked to note its Action Tracker.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None.

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board reviewed its action tracker. It was noted that the pooled investment governance structures had been circulated to the Board, and this would be marked as complete on the tracker. The final deadline for submitting the consultation response was 31 July, and the fund’s submission would be taken as an item to the Surrey Pension Fund Committee on 11 July 2016.

     

    2.    The Board agreed that the Chairman would have regular oversight of FOI requests regarding the fund, and would flag any specific concerns to the Board as appropriate.

     

    3.    The Board noted the response from the Cabinet Member for Business Services and Resident Experience, following the Chairman’s correspondence concerning pension administration. This response is included as an annex to these minutes. The Chairman noted that Pension Services expected to see improvement in the second quarter of 2016/17.

     

    4.    The Board was informed that the majority of employers had returned data submissions for the triennal valuation. Officers informed the Board 11 employer submissions were pending. It was confirmed that benefit statements were expected to be distributed by 31 August 2016.

     

    Recommendations

     

    None.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    Chairman to receive a quarterly update on number and subject of FOI requests.

23/16

FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    The Board is asked to note its Forward Plan.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    The Board noted that an item on the Fund’s breaches policy had been added to the Forward Plan. It noted that there were two items concerning an annual report - that of the Pension Fund, and also the annual report of the Local Pension Board.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    None.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

24/16

PROVISION FOR INDEPENDENT MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 189 KB

    The Board is asked to note the content of this report and make recommendations if any further action is required.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chairman invited comments from the Board regarding the provision of independent members. The Board commented that there had been good access to advice from officers, and that there were no perceived gaps in the Board’s range of skills and learning.

     

    2.    The Vice-Chairman noted that many local pension fund boards had appointed an independent chair, and that Surrey was not typical in this regard.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    The Board concluded it was content with the current arrangements and to take no action at this time.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    The Board will review the provision for independent members on an annual basis.

     

25/16

UPDATE FROM RECENT SURREY PENSION FUND COMMITTEE MEETINGS: 13 MAY 2016

    To provide the Board with a verbal update on matters discussed at the Surrey Pension Fund Committee

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board noted that the Surrey Pension Fund Committee had approved pooled ill health retirement self-insurance for all employers. This offered a better rate, and also would impact the actuarial assessment of the allowance. The Board was informed that the ill health allowance was anticipated to be approximately -1% of contributions on a Fund wide basis, although this will be confirmed at as part of the triennial valuation.

     

    2.    The Board highlighted that this was a position formerly adopted by the Fund, and that changes were introduced to encourage best practice and increase awareness of the costs to the employer. It was noted that the regulations around ill health had become more stringent in the intervening years. The Board was also informed that the change would have no impact on member rights.

     

    3.    The Board was informed that the Committee had reviewed the Fund’s administration Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 6 of these KPIs were not on target, and the correspondence between the Chairman and Cabinet Member was highlighted as being reflective of this. The Board discussed the benefit of being able to see KPIs such as transfers out in terms of range, in order to show how late employers had been in reporting. It was confirmed that the KPIs and manner in which they were measured would be a consideration in  a planned review of the Fund’s administration strategy.

     

    4.    The Board was given an update on the Committee’s discussion regarding new investment regulations. There remained concern from the Committee that the regulations would see greater central government interference, and the draft response to the consultation had been strengthened to reflect that view. It was noted that the previous investment regulations had been rescinded and the draft regulations were waiting to be enacted.

     

    5.    The Board resolved:

     

    ·         that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting as the discussion of item 7 of the Committee’s agenda on 13 May 2016 would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraph of Part 1 of schedule 12a of the Act.

     

    6.    The Board discussed the decision taken by the Committee regarding the discount rate methodology for the 2016 valuation. Following this discussion the meeting was then re-opened to the public.

     

    7.    The Board discussed the result of the EU referendum, and its impact on the Fund. It was noted that there was early indications that there would be further cuts to interest rates. It was noted that the Bank of England and Chancellor had both made announcements that had sought to reassure the financial markets following the result.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    None.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    The Board will review the results of the review of the Fund's administration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25/16

26/16

ADDITIONAL VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS pdf icon PDF 339 KB

    The Board is asked to note the content of this report and make recommendations if any further action is required.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board was informed that the Fund currently had a single Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) provider and that contributions had been increasing on an annual basis.

     

    2.    The Board noted that the Hymans recommendations had not been implemented at the time of the report due to changing governance arrangements. It was informed that decisions about changes to AVCs could be made following recommendations to the Surrey Pension Fund Committee.

     

    3.    The Board asked what activity was undertaken to promote AVCs to active members. It was outlined that Prudential were active in this regard, producing leaflets and seminars on AVCs. The Board was informed that it was not unusual in local authorities to see low take-up of AVCs by active members. It was suggested that public sector pay freezes and changes in National Insurance contribution rates were contributory factors.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    ·         That the administering authority consider a review of the AVC arrangement and report back at a future meeting.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

27/16

ADMINISTERING AUTHORITY DISCRETIONS pdf icon PDF 244 KB

    The Board is asked to note the administering authority discretions and the initial draft work in progress to establish a written statement on the exercise of these discretions.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board was informed that this item was intended to demonstrate the policy making process. Officers informed the Board that the plan was to have a suite of draft policies available to take to the September 2016 Pension Committee meeting.

     

    2.    The Board questioned how officers would consult with employers in order to secure their agreement. It was highlighted that a number of these discretions were already standard practice, though the administering authority would seek to consult by the end of the year. The Board was informed that both the revised funding strategy and administration strategy would enable the administering authority to consult on and clarify discretions with the employers.

     

    3.    The Board queried how the administering authority would ensure that the outlined discretions were being consistently applied. Officers commented that this would be monitored by the Pension Services in the first instance, and that the Internal Dispute Resolution Process would also flag any trends.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    None.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    That the Board receive a copy of the administering authority discretions once agreed.

28/16

EMPLOYER DISCRETIONS pdf icon PDF 215 KB

    The Board is asked to note the content of this report and make recommendations if any further action is required.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board noted that Surrey County Council’s employer discretions had been approved by the People, Performance and Development Committee on 3 May 2016. The Board was informed that this consolidated all these discretions and was available on the council’s website. Officers confirmed that there was an expectation that all employers within the Fund produced a similar document. It was noted that the administering authority could not compel employers to do so, though it had indicated a six month deadline.

     

    2.    The Board sought clarification on whether there was a statutory requirement to publish the discretions. It was confirmed that there was a requirement to publish some, as per the 2013 regulations, and others were being published in line with best practice.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    That the Board receives an update on how many employers have published employer discretions in six months time.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    That the Board receive a copy of the employer authority discretions once agreed.

     

29/16

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

30/16

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

    That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

     

    Minutes:

    The Board resolved:

     

    That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public

    be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the

    grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information

    under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

31/16

REVIEW OF INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION CASES IN 2015/16 (QUARTER FOUR)

    The Board is asked to note the content of this report.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest: None

     

    Witnesses:

    Sue Grimstead, Operations Manager, Pension Services

    Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Pensions and Treasury

    Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance, Pension Fund and Treasury

    Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board received an update outlining that the single case for quarter four of 2015/16 was resolved before it reached a stage one adjudication. There were no further concerns.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    None.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

32/16

PUBLICITY FOR PART 2 ITEMS