Agenda item


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



Declarations of interest:




Jason Bailey, Pensions Lead Manager, Shared Services

Neil Mason, Senior Advisor (Pension Fund), Finance

Alex Moylan, Senior Accountant, Finance

Phil Triggs, Strategic Finance Manager, Finance


Key points raised during the discussion:


  1. This agenda item was taken out of order as witnesses had arrived for this item.


  1. The Board was provided with the context of the report, including the delay in producing 2014/15 annual benefits statements. It was explained that the Pensions Regulator had agreed that funds would not be penalised for this delay, and only a couple of funds had suggested they had issued their annual benefits statements in time for the August 2015 deadline.


  1. Officers informed the Board that the 2015/16 statements had not been issued in line with the August 2016 deadline. Statements had been produced by mid-September for active members. Officers commented that the cause of this delay was related to the workload of associating and validating year-end returns, and the timing of the triennial valuation of the pension fund. It was noted that this had not been reported to the regulator as it was not considered a material breach. This view had been taken as no members had contacted the Pension Service regarding the statements, and there was considered to be no material impact as a result of the delay.


4.    The Board discussed the breach, and highlighted that the Pension Regulator had emphasised the need to meet the August 2016 deadline, in view of the widespread failure of local authority funds to meet the August 2015 deadline. In compliance with the draft breaches policy, which was due to be discussed in the meeting, the Board recommended that the breach should be reported to the regulator, although noted this would not normally be regarded as material.


  1. The Board discussed the transition arrangements to an electronic annual benefits statement for active members in 2017. It was felt that this would mitigate the logistical challenge of producing the statements in time.  Officers confirmed that all employers in the Fund had been asked to supply email addresses for each active member as part of the 2016 year-end returns in preparation for the launch of member self-service and the issue of electronic statements.


  1. The Board raised concerns that the electronic statement would not be appropriate for all active members, particularly if there were issues with internet access. It was confirmed that the Pension Service would continue to provide a paper statement where requested by the employer but that experience from other areas (e-payslips) suggested most local government staff now had internet access.


  1. The Board was informed that deferred members would be notified in 2017 of the intention to transfer them to electronic annual benefits statements in future and asked to register for this. Officers highlighted that non-respondents would continue to receive paper statements.




The Board noted the contents of the report.




That the delay in providing annual benefits statements be reported to the regulator in line with the draft Breaches Policy process.


Actions/further information to be provided:


An update report on the transfer to online annual benefit statements to be provided to the Board.


Supporting documents: