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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Jim Brewster 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence or substitutions for the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

2.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chair announced that George Jeans joined the committee and that Tom Rounds had left the committee.

 

Chris Moore was welcomed as an observer pending his appointment as employer representative on the committee.

 

The Chair announced that Jim Edney had decided to relinquish his role after 9 years as Independent Governance Adviser to the Fund.   The Chair and the Committee thanked him for his valued service. 

 

3.

Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee Minutes Part 1

To confirm the Part 1 minutes of the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee held on 12 December 2018.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 were approved.

4.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.

 

Statements

If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.

 

Questions

To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.

 

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on (4 clear working days, e.g. Wednesday of week before a Wednesday meeting) in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on (2 clear working days, eg Friday of week before a Wednesday meeting). Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

There were no members of the public present.

6.

Minutes and Key Decisions of the Investment Sub-Committee

To receive the Part 1 minutes, and consider recommendations arising, from the last meeting of the Investment Sub-Committee held on 21 February 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The minutes of the Investment Sub-Committee from the meeting held on 21 February 2019 were approved.

7.

Minutes and Key Decisions of the Local Pensions Board

To consider the Part 1 minutes, and recommendations arising, from the Local Pension Board meeting held on 24 January 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The minutes of the Local Pension Board held on 24 January 2019 were noted.

 

8.

Scheme, Legal, Regulatory and Fund Update

A report from officers updating the Committee on the latest regulatory and legal updates for the LGPS.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through a report that updated the Committee on legal and regulatory issues.

 

Reform to public sector exit payments continued to be delayed.   The Pensions Regulator (tPR) was very active, but currently focused on funds other than Wiltshire Pension Fund.   The Fair Deal consultation released by MHCLG’s aims was explained as being a step in the right direction but concerns still existed if the approach would be effective; officers will respond to the consultation.   The cost cap mechanism had been stalled whilst the McCloud case was concluded.   Wiltshire Pension fund enjoyed the highest level of compliance required by the Financial Reporting Council, and officers will review practice and report to Committee to maintain that status.   CIPFA guidance remained unpublished.

 

The discussion addressed communications from tPR, the need for active scanning of tPR’s work and priorities.   The Committee gave assurances to officers that scrutiny beyond the ‘light-touch’ could be subject to representation to tPR from the Committee.

 

Resolved

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

9.

Pension Fund Risk Register

An update from officers on the Wiltshire Pension Fund Risk Register is circulated for Members’ to note.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through the latest Risk Register, there were no changes since the last meeting.   Officers plan to reformat the risk register to bring it in line with the latest corporate approach and to make it easier to understand how mitigating actions have affected the risk assessment.

 

Resolved

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

10.

Key Performance Indicators

The latest quarterly update from the Head of Pensions Administration & Relations on the Fund’s KPIs.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through a report on key performance indicators (KPI).

 

The value of KPIs in identifying issues and clarifying paths to improved performance was discussed.   Officers stated that KPIs indicate a snapshot of current performance whilst actions aimed at improved performance were detailed in further reports, for example, the Data Improvement Plan.

 

The Chair of the Local Pensions Board stated his concerns were about deadlines and workloads and emphasised that he was assured by the direction of travel towards compliance with statutory guidelines.

 

The Chair re-iterated the desire to manage backlogs within available resources to minimise costs and noted the work of the pensions team to reduce the occurrence of backlogs in the longer term.

 

Resolved

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

11.

AVC Training and Options

A training item by the Fund Governance and Performance Manager.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Richard Bullen, Fund Governance & Performance Manager, introduced the provision of options for members to make Advanced Voluntary Contributions (AVC).   The only open scheme for new members was the Prudential, the others being Equitable Life, Clerical Medical and NPI/Pheonix.   A key update was the proposed buy-out of Equitable Life by Reliance Life and its parent company, the Life Company Consolidation Group, that may result in a capital distribution payment for members, subject to court rulings expected at the end of 2019.

 

A discussion also took place on the Fund’s review arrangements for its AVC service providers and the impact of Wiltshire Council’s AVC Wise campaign on officer resources, which were agreed to be currently sufficient. 

 

The extent to which AVC options should be promoted was also considered and it was concluded that emphasis should be placed on ensuring no advice is provided, but ensuring that Scheme members are aware of the whole benefit structure offered by the Fund.

 

Resolved

 

To continue to delegate management of AVC options for members to officers and for officers to report to committee by exception.

 

12.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) New Fund Proposals

A paper by the Investment Manager proposing that the Fund expand its range of fund options it offers to members.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through a report that detailed the work done in increasing the offer to members seeking to make Advanced Voluntary Contributions (AVC).   A number of funds were identified as vehicles for widening the choice available to members.

 

Resolved

 

To approve the additions to funds to AVC fund choices as recommended by officers.

 

To approve the four new Lifestyle options and to adopt the cash options strategy for members who wish to take a tax free lump sum on retirement and the retirement options strategy.

 

To approve the retirement options Lifestyle strategy as the default option into which existing Lifestyle funds will be transferred on 22nd July. 

 

13.

Data Improvement Plan

The Head of Pensions Administration & Relations will present a new data improvement strategy which Committee members are asked to approve.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through the report on Data Improvement that seeks to enhance the quality of data.   The plan focused on tightening internal operations and improving reconciliation with external data sources, with the key intentions of enabling the Fund to operate more efficiently, ensuring members data is accurate and fulfilling the requirements laid down by the Pension Regulator.   Two recently purchased software applications, i-Connect and member-self-service (MSS) were two initiatives that would assist in improving data quality over time.

 

The Chair of the Local Pensions Board suggested that the fund’s understanding of its data quality would be improved by the process of its data being interrogated as part of the actuarial valuation and subsequent updating.   Metrics on data queries arising from the valuation & MSS changes by members should therefore be recorded.

 

The Chair thanked officers for their work in clarifying where the fund stands in respect of data quality and the work done to date to create a direction of travel.

 

Resolved

 

To approve the report noting the comments of The Chair of the Local Pensions Board and to bring a report back to Committee in 12 months time.

 

14.

Business Plan

The Head of Pensions Administration & Relations will present the latest Fund Business Plan to Committee for approval.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Officers talked through the Business Plan that set out a vision and actions for Year 1 (2019).

 

The business plan was welcomed by the Committee.   Officers were asked to highlight the importance of training implicit in the plan to ensure that developing people was understood as being central to organisational health over the longer term.

 

Resolved

 

To approve the business plan subject to any further comments provided by Committee members following circulation.

 

15.

Administration Budget 2019/2020

A report from the officers proposed the Fund's budget for 2019/2020.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The budget, which indicates an overall rise of 7.1%, was talked through by officers.   The value of legal support, procurement issues and sur-charge costs were all discussed.

 

Diane Hall stated that the rise in recharges from Central Finance appeared disproportionate and questioned the method of arriving at the new figure.

 

Resolved

 

To approve the budget subject to the Chair obtaining clarification from the Section 151 Officer on how the rise in recharges was arrived at.

 

16.

Clarification of governance roles

A paper from the Fund Governance and Performance Manager clarifying the differing roles of the LPB and WPF Committee.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Independent Adviser, Jim Edney, welcomed developments on governance and clarification of the relationship of Board to Committee as being what was required by the fund.

 

Resolved

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

17.

Committee's requests to the Board

Minutes:

The committee made no specific requests for support or research of the Board.

 

18.

Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next regular meeting of the Committee will be held on 18 July 2019.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the pensions committee will be on 18 July 2109.

19.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency.   Urgent items of a confidential nature may be considered under Part II of this agenda.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

20.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Numbers 14 – 17  because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 & 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Minutes:

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Minute Numbers 21-27 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 & 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

21.

Triennial Valuation 2019

A report from Hymans Robertson LLP on the key assumptions for the triennial valuation. Committee members are asked to approve the approach to assumption setting. 

 

Minutes:

Assumption on scaled withdrawals

 

Resolved

 

To increase the default assumption by 40% for full-time males and 40% and 50% respectively for full-time and part-time females respectively and adopt the default assumption for part-time males.

 

Assumption on death in service

 

Resolved

 

To adopt the default assumption for death in service for both males and females.

 

Assumption on salary scale

 

Resolved

 

To adopt the default salary scale for both males and females.

 

Assumption Ill Health

 

Resolved

 

To adopt the default assumption for males and part-time females and apply scaling of 120% for full-time females.

 

To adopt the default assumption for tier 2 ill health retirements.

 

Assumptions on demographics

Resolved

 

To adopt Hymans Robertson’s demographic assumptions.

 

Assumptions on salary growth

 

Resolved

 

To use the more prudent scenario 2 (RPI less 0.6%) and review at the next valuation.

 

Establishing a level of prudence and its impact on the discount rate

 

Resolved

 

To maintain the status quo in the level of prudence (two thirds probability of achieving returns) subject to final confirmation once the new investment strategy has been confirmed at the next meeting.

 

22.

Brunel Pension Partnership update

A verbal update by the Investment Manager on the progress of the implementation of the Brunel Pension Partnership. 

Minutes:

The Investment Manager gave a verbal update on Brunel pensions Partnership.

23.

Investment Quarterly Progress Report

Three confidential reports are circulated updating the Committee on the performance of the Fund’s investments to 31 December 2018.  These were considered by the Investment Sub-Committee at its meeting on 21 February 2019 and are circulated for information only. 

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The committee approved the decision of Investment Sub-Committee to invest in listed infrastructure through with Magellan’s Global Select Infrastructure Fund.

 

24.

Investments - Listed Infrastructure Recommendation

A report from the Investment Manager with a proposal for investing in listed infrastructure.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The committee approved the decision of Investment Sub-Committee to invest in listed infrastructure through with Magellan’s Global Select Infrastructure Fund.

 

25.

Part 2 Minutes and Key Decisions of the Investment Sub Committee

To consider the Part 2 (confidential) minutes of the Investment Sub Committee meeting held on 21 February 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The part 2 minutes of the Investment Sub Committee held on 21 February 2019 were approved.

26.

Local pension Board Minutes Part 2

To consider the Part 1 minutes, and recommendations arising, from the Local Pension Board meeting held on 24 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The part 2 minutes of the Local Pension Board held on 24 January 2019 were noted.

 

27.

Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee Minutes Part 2

To confirm the Part 2 (confidential) minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 were approved.

 

 

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