Agenda and minutes

Pensions Committee - Friday 12th December 2014 10:00am

Venue: Rudyard Suite - Staffordshire Place 1. View directions

Contact: Mike Bradbury  Email: michael.bradburyt@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

34.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

The following Member declared an interest in accordance with Standing Order 16.5:-

 

Member

Minute Nos.

Interest

Reason

Alan Dudson

 

37

Personal

GMB/Unite representative on a Pensions Panel

 

35.

Minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2014 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

 

Note: With regard to minute no. 25 - “Collaboration” – the Director of Finance and Resources informed the Committee that Hymans Robertson had facilitated an away-day for the two administering authorities to discuss what collaboration could look like and in which area(s) it was most likely to be achieved.

36.

Minutes of the Pensions Panel held on 2 December 2014 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Pensions Panel held on 2 December 2014 be noted.

37.

Staffordshire Pensions Board pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Resources

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee were informed that following their meeting on 24 October 2014, at which they considered the draft Terms of Reference and Constitution for the proposed Staffordshire Pensions Board, consultation on the proposals had taken place with all employers and known union representatives. 10 responses were received to this consultation, 9 of which either made no comment or were generally supportive of the proposals.  The final response, from Unison, raised a number of issues/concerns.  The Committee discussed the changes to various clauses in the draft Constitution for the Pensions Board sought by Unison and agreed as follows:

 

·         Clause 4.1.1 – To be amended so as to read as per the wording set out in the guidance.

·         Clauses 5.1 and 5.1.3 – Proposed changes not accepted as the Committee saw no reason to change its original make-up given that the majority of responses were in favour of the proposals

·         Clauses 5.9.1 and 5.10 – Proposed changes not accepted as the clauses accord with the guidance.  However, appropriate training for Board Members will be provided by the Scheme Manager and the draft Constitution will be updated to reflect this.

·         Clause 5.7 - Proposed changes not accepted but the draft Constitution will be updated to reduce the length of the appointment of the Chairman from the currently proposed four year period.

·         Clause 7.1 – Proposed changes not accepted as the changes sought to Clauses 5.1 and 5.1.3 have not been accepted.

·         Clauses 11.1 and 11.4 – Proposed changes not accepted (see Clauses 5.9.1 and 5.10 above).

·         “Expenses are not enough” – The wording of the Constitution be amended to provide for the payment of reasonable reimbursements to Board members.

 

The Committee were also informed that the County Council did not make a further response to the second draft regulations relating to the creation of Pension Boards.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the feedback received in relation to the consultation on the proposed Staffordshire Pensions Board be noted and the proposed responses to the changes sought by Unison, as set out above, be approved.

 

(b) That it be noted that the County Council did not make a further response to the second draft regulations relating to the creation of Pension Boards.

38.

Review of Communication Strategy pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Resources

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee were informed that under Regulation 61of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 the Administering authority was required to prepare and publish a written statement on its communication policy. The administering authority must:

 

·         Keep the statement under review.

·         Make revisions following a material change in its policy.

·         Publish the revised statement.

 

The Communication Strategy was last reviewed in July 2013 and had been updated to reflect minor procedural changes and to take into account changes caused by the introduction of the 2014 Pension Scheme.

 

The Committee also noted that the Communication Strategy would require a further update in 2015 to reflect the changes resulting from the new Governance arrangements and the creation of the Pensions Board.

 

In response to a question from Mr Dudson, the Director of Finance and Resources indicated that the Scheme Manager communicated with Fund Members through a range of media including:

 

·         Nest Egg Magazine (1 – 2 issues per annum).

·         Pay slip inserts.

·         Roadshows.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received and the updated Communication Strategy, as appended to the report, be approved.

39.

CIPFA Knowledge and Skills Training - Investments

Presentation by Hymans Robertson, Actuary

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation by Paul Potter of Hymans Robertson on “Investment Performance and Risk Management”.  The presentation covered a range of issues including:

 

·         Assessing risk, including the effects of inflation and longevity.

·         Valuing the Fund’s liabilities.

·         Long term risks.

·         Volatility of the funding position.

·         The impact of diversification on risk.

·         Performance Monitoring.

 

The Committee also received a presentation from Graeme Johnston of Hymans Robertson on setting high-level principles on the Fund’s approach to investment (“Investment Beliefs”) and how these could be used to:

 

·         Establish a clear and robust framework for decision making;

·         Focus time and resources on what mattered most;

·         Provide consistency over time; and

·         Support communication with stakeholders.

 

RESOLVED – That Mr Johnston and Mr Potter be thanked for their presentations.

40.

Exclusion of the Public

The Chairman to move:

 

‘That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business which involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraph of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 indicated below’

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business which involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 indicated below

 

The Committee then proceeded to consider reports on the following issues:

41.

Exempt minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2014 (Exemption paragraph 3)

42.

Exempt minutes of the Pensions Panel held on 2 December 2014 (Exemption paragraph 3)

43.

Debt Write-off (Exemption paragraph 3)

Report of the Director of Finance and Resources