Agenda and minutes

Pension Committee
Monday, 17th July, 2017 9.30 am

Venue: Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Harvey Winder  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

1.1       The Committee RESOLVED to agree the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 27 February 2017.

2.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

2.1       There were no apologies for absence.

3.

Disclosure of Interests

Disclosures by all Members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Members regard the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

 

Minutes:

3.1       Cllr Richard Stogdon declared a personal interest as the trustee of a private pension fund managed by Ruffer.

 

4.

Urgent items

Notification of items which the Chair considers to be urgent and proposes to take at the appropriate part of the agenda.

 

Minutes:

4.1       There were no urgent items.

5.

Pension Board Minutes pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Minutes:

5.1       The Committee considered the draft minutes of the Pension Board meeting held on 26 June 2017.

5.2       The Committee RESOLVED to note the draft minutes.

6.

Independent Auditor's (KPMG) Report to those charged with governance and Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1       The Committee considered a report on the Independent Auditor’s (KPMG) report to those charged with governance and Annual Report 2016/17.

6.2       The Committee RESOLVED to:

1) note the report; and

2) approve the Pension Fund Annual Report for publication.

7.

Pension Administration Strategy Statement pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1       The Committee considered a report seeking approval of the Pensions Administration Strategy Statement.

7.2       The Committee RESOLVED to approve the Pensions Administration Strategy Statement.

8.

Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) Reconciliation - Update pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1       The Committee considered a report on the progress of the reconciliation of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) records held by East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and noted the recommendation of the Pension Board to the Committee that, in the interests of moving the GMP reconciliation project forward, it endorses the officer action taken to have ITM conduct a 2 month project to reconcile and submit queries to HMRC. 

8.2       The Chair noted the Committee’s major concern that the report differed from the Committee’s resolution at its February 2017 meeting – where the Committee had resolved to follow officers’ recommendation for a tendering process for stage 2 of the GMP reconciliation to be undertaken.  The report before the Committee indicated a contrary decision taken by officers without reference to the Committee.

8.3       Committee Members agreed that they are ultimately accountable, not only for the performance of the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF), but for all decisions affecting the Fund’s Administration. The Chair of the Pension Board also expressed concern regarding any decision made by officers without reference to the Committee and the absence of clear information provided to the Pension Board. The Committee concurred and agreed that it is vital that the Committee and Board are kept properly informed of any significant proposals relating to pension fund administration. Both in this case and in relation to an earlier case referred to later on the Committee’s Agenda, it is clear that proper processes have not been followed. Furthermore, if a decision is time sensitive, it may be necessary for additional committee meetings to be held to enable due process to be followed.

8.4       Officers acknowledged the need for Committee to be fully aware of progress with GMP and other key administration and governance issues. Specifically officers apologised for not bringing back to Committee a tender decision as envisaged by the minute of the previous meeting. It was explained that this had not been done consciously and indeed the decision to appoint ITM had been made with regard to the need for progress to be made on this issue in the five months since the Committee had last met and the failure of the preferred procurement framework to provide a robust tender process. The Committee was assured that, in future, officers will provide information in a timely manner and engage proactively with the Chair and the Committee about any proposals in relation to the ESPF and its administration.

8.5     The Committee RESOLVED:                                               

1) to note the progress on the reconciliation of GMPs between HMRC records and the ESPF; and

2) to be provided with regular updates on the progress of GMP reconciliation.

 

 

9.

Officers' Report - Business Operations pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1       The Committee considered a report providing an update on the pension administration services provided by Orbis Business Operations.

9.2       The Committee RESOLVED to note the report.

10.

Orbis Pensions Administration Systems Assurance Review pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1     The Committee considered a report on the assurance review of Orbis Pensions Administration Systems.

10.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the report.

11.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

To consider excluding the public and press from the meeting for the remaining agenda item on the grounds that if the public and press were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Minutes:

11.1    The Committee RESOLVED to exclude the public and press from the meeting for the remaining agenda item on the grounds that if the public and press were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

12.

Update Report on Administration System

Minutes:

12.1     The Committee considered an update on the contract position of the current pension administration system and market intelligence on alternative potential systems.

12.2     The Committee RESOLVED to:

1) note the report; and

2) support the proposed plans for a market review.

13.

Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) Reconciliation - Update

Minutes:

13.1     The Committee considered a report on the cost of the agreement with ITM to provide a ‘fast tracked’ modular approach for the next stage of the Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) Reconciliation process.  

13.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the report.