Venue: The link to the Zoom meeting is below. If you prefer to join the meeting by phone please dial 0203 481 5240. The meeting ID is 989 8063 2182
Contact: Mary Green Telephone: 020 7527 3005
Link: Join the meeting via this link
Apologies for absence
Received from Valerie Easmon-George.
Declaration of interests
If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:
· if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;
· you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency.
In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.
If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.
*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.
(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.
(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.
(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.
(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.
(g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital.
This applies to all members present at the meeting.
Minutes of the previous meeting PDF 74 KB
That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2020 be confirmed as an
accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
Pension administration performance PDF 113 KB
The Deputy Pensions Manager introduced his report. Referring to paragraph 4 of the report of the Corporate Director of Resources on the “Impact of coronavirus on Pensions Administration”, he stated that most communication with pensioners was made through the Royal Mail service, rather than electronically. Members of the Board suggested that pensioners and other users of the Service should be offered an option of either communication by post, or by email. The Director of Service Finance pointed out that, as the Pension Fund was a separate account and therefore not subject to a Council-wide reduction in salary budget, he would seek the agreement of the Finance Management Team to the recruitment of an additional Pensions Officer.
In response to a question about the availability of the Death Grant Form, the Deputy Pensions Manager stated that the Form was available on the Council’s internal website. He undertook to include reference to its availability on the Annual Benefit Statement.
(a) That the number of members auto-enrolled into the Local Government Pension Scheme from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020, as detailed in the report of the Corporate Director of Resources, be noted.
(b) That the information in respect of the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure, compliments and complaints, also detailed in the report, be noted.
(c) That the new working arrangements for the Pensions Office and the impact that Coronavirus was having on services, as detailed in the report, be noted.
(d) That the imminent introduction of a public-sector exit payment cap by the Government, detailed in Appendix 1 of the report, be noted.
(e) That pensioners and other users of the Service be offered an option of communication either by post, or by email.
(f) That a letter of representation be sent to MHCLG outlining the Board’s concerns that even those on a modest salary will be affected by the introduction of the £95k exit payment cap.
(g) That it be noted that the Deputy Pensions Manager would arrange for a £50 incentive to join the LGPS to be advertised this quarter.
LGPS McCloud consultation - amendment to statutory underpin PDF 132 KB
The Head of the Pension Fund and Treasury Management introduced the report, noting the many different aspects of work that would need to be carried out to implement the changes and to administer the changes once they took effect. These proposals would be resource-heavy, involving the collation of data, some of which dated back to 2014.
That MHCLG be requested to consider a delay to the implementation of the proposals from April 2022, in view of the administrative impact on the current work of the Council, especially considering the impacts of Coronavirus.
Forward Plan of business PDF 115 KB
The Head of the Pension Fund and Treasury Management drew members’ attention to the fact that the Pension Fund AGM had been scheduled for 12 October 2020. Given the situation with regard to Coronavirus and social distancing requirements, it would no longer be possible to hold the meeting at the Assembly Hall and asked members to consider alternatives. She was not aware of any legal requirement to hold an AGM, rather it was good governance.
Following discussion, members agreed that, in order that the necessary arrangements could be made, the date of the AGM be postponed by up to four weeks and that a letter be sent to all pensioners and potential attendees to advise them that this year’s AGM would be held remotely. Attendees to be offered a choice of joining the meeting online via a link, or by telephone. Attendees to be requested to submit questions in advance and, for those who could not attend the meeting, a written response would be provided.
(a) That, in order that the necessary arrangements could be made, including the availability of the Annual Report, the Head of Pension Fund and Treasury Management be authorised to postpone the date of the AGM by up to four weeks and that a letter be sent to all pensioners and potential attendees to advise them that this year’s AGM would be held remotely. Attendees to be offered a choice of joining the meeting online via a link, or by telephone. Attendees to be requested to submit questions in advance and, for those who could not attend the meeting, a written response to be provided.
(b) That Appendix A attached to the report of the Corporate Director of Resources be noted.
(c) That the contents of exempt Appendix B - Covid19 Fund checklist – be noted
(d)That the Risk Register be reviewed by the Board every six months
(e) That the revised Covid plan be submitted to the next meeting and then every six months, with the pre and post mitigation numbers.
(f) That it be noted that a report on equity protection would be considered at a future date.
(g) That it be noted that reports on (i) discretions and (ii) interim flexible contributions would be submitted to the next meeting.
Forward Plan of business - exempt appendices
That the contents of the exempt appendix be noted.