Agenda item


This report presents the audited financial statements of the Pension Fund for the year ended 31 March 2019, in light of the County Council’s obligations as the administering authority under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Regulations.


The external auditor (Grant Thornton) expects to issue an unqualified opinion on the accounts.


Grant Thornton, as the Council’s external auditor, has completed its audit and the Pension Fund financial statements are presented to this Committee to be approved prior to publication.


Annexes: to follow


  1. Audit report 2018/19
  2. Draft letter of representation.



An amended cover report with additional information, an amended page to an annex and the remaining annexes was published in the supplementary agenda on 25 July 2019.




Anna D’Alessandro, Director of Corporate Finance

Mamon Zaman, Senior Accountant

Ciaran McLaughlin, Grant Thornton


Key points raised during the discussion:


  1. The Director of Corporate Finance introduced the report and summarised the findings:

·         That she was pleased to state that the external auditor (Grant Thornton) had issued an unqualified audit opinion and that there were also no material misstatements.

·         That the Pension Fund Draft Accounts 2018/19 were approved by the Pension Fund Committee on 7 June 2019 and that it was expected that the Pension Fund Draft Annual Report 2018/19 (which included the Pension Fund Accounts 2018/19) would be presented at the next Surrey Pension Fund Committee on 13 September 2019.

·         That the most recent funding position was 93.3% at the end of 2018 was thought to improve, with the results from the 2019 Full Triennial Valuation for the 31 March 2019 Funding Position remaining outstanding.

·         That Surrey Pension Fund was now a partner fund of Border to Coast Pensions Partnership Limited (BCPP) in line with the Government’s proposal to pool Local Government Pension Scheme assets into the regional asset pool of £45 billion, the Fund had transitioned approximately £400 million to the BCPP by Autumn 2018.

  1. The Senior Accountant explained the benefits to the Committee of the pooled assets, which included: reduced costs and management rates, improved returns and greater resilience across the funds.
  2. In response to a Member’s query on the BCPP, the Senior Accountant remarked that the pooled funds also covered Surrey’s 11 borough and district councils and some parish councils also.
  3. Grant Thornton stated that they had not identified any issues to report on the risks presented in the Audit Plan and praised the work provided by the Surrey Pension Fund.
  4. That the Pension Fund Level 3 investment funds were tested by the auditors at their last audited financial statements for any material cash flows in order to obtain a more substantive valuation.
  5. Additional fees were incurred during the year from the impact of the McCloud and GMP judgements. Grant Thornton had been asked by auditors from the 11 Surrey districts to provide IAS 19 assurance letters. These were charged at £3,000 each for the work and £500 for each assurance letter requested. The final audit fee would be confirmed with management in August 2019.
  6. The Chairman expressed interest in the comment that the funding position of 93.3% would improve since the figure was reported in December 31 2018. The Director of Corporate Finance had spoken to the Strategic Finance Manager – Pensions and was hopeful of this change.



Actions/ further information to be provided:






That the Committee:


  1. Approved the Pension Fund Accounts 2018/19.
  2. Considered the content of the Audit Findings for Surrey Pension Fund Report.
  3. Determined that no issues needed to be referred to Cabinet in relation to the

external auditor’s conclusions and recommendations.

  1. Considered the content of the draft representation letter and authorised the Deputy Chief Finance Officer to sign it on the Council’s behalf.


Supporting documents: