Agenda, decisions and minutes

West Yorkshire Pension Fund Pension Board
Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 11.00 am

Venue: virtual

Contact: Jane Lythgow 

Items
No. Item

25.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

All those present who were members or beneficiaries of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund disclosed, in the interests of transparency, an interest in all business under consideration.

 

26.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Jane Lythgow - 01274 432270)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restricted documents.

 

27.

MINUTES OF THE WEST YORKSHIRE PENSION FUND 30 JULY 2020 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, (Document “R”) reminds Members that the role of The Pension Board, as defined by sections 5(1) and (2) of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, is to assist the Council as Scheme Manager in ensuring the effective and efficient governance and administration of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) including securing compliance with the LGPS regulations and any other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the LGPS; securing compliance with the requirements imposed in relation to the LGPS by the Pensions Regulator; and any other such matters as the LGPS regulations may specify. 

 

The Minutes of meeting of WYPF Joint Advisory Group are submitted to the Pension Board to enable the Board to ensure effective and efficient governance and administration of the LGPS.

 

Members are asked to review the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group on 30 July 2020.

 

(Rodney Barton – 01274 432317)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director, WYPF presented the minutes (Document “R”) for Members to review from the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group meeting held on 30 July 2020 and clarified some points in the report. 

 

A brief question and answer session then followed, details of which are set out below:

 

·         A Member raised the issue of the WYPF Risk Management Report in which Members were reluctant to note the Risk Register and asked what progress had been made on this matter.  In response the Director stated there were concerns raised regarding the Investment Portfolio which had been referred to the Investment Advisory Panel who were working on the matter.

 

·         A question was also asked around the increased cost per member of administration costs and whether this was due to the increase in working from home since the report was written in March.  Whilst the increase was partially due to procurement of equipment to enable home working, it would not contribute to the scheme costs. 

 

·         Was there a timescale when looking at AVC’s?  The Director advised that this would be reported on at the January 2021 meeting.

 

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group on 30 July 2020 be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund

 

 

28.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME REGULATIONS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 214 KB

 

The Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, (WYPF) will present a report,  Document “S”, which updates Members on changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2014 and provides information on associated matters.

 

Recommended –

 

That the report be noted.

(Tracy Weaver – 01274 433571)

 

 

Minutes:

The Director of West Yorkshire Pension Fund presented a report (Document “S”) to update members on changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2014 and provided information on associated matters.  Since the introduction of the career average LGPS, a number of consultations on proposed changes have taken place, following which amendment regulations have been issued.  The report detailed the consultations and other associated matters.

 

Updates in the report included  the Consultations on Fair Deal – Strengthening pension protection and Local valuation cycle and the management of employer risk around flexibility to determine exit payments for employers leaving the scheme and the outcome of the McCloud case, on which Members also received a separate update.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund

 

29.

McCLOUD - EFFECTS ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEMES (LGPS) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

In July 2020 the government released a long awaited consultation on applying the remedy to address the age discrimination inherent in the transitional protections that were adopted by the public service scheme in 2014.

 

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (Document “T”) informs Members of work undertaken to date in anticipation of the regulations being made.

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be noted.

(Caroline Blackburn – 01274 434523)

Minutes:

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (Document “T”) was presented to the Board following the Government consultation relating to applying the remedy to address the age discrimination inherent in the transitional protections that were adopted by the public service scheme in 2014 which disadvantaged younger members.

 

The consultation has been closed and amendments to the scheme would be backdated to 2014.  Additional information would be required from employers in light of regulation changes which would be requested once the regulations are laid.  Software used to make entitlement calculations would need to be updated.  Of the seventy thousand members who were eligible, benefit underpinning checks would need to be carried out on thirty thousand.

 

The regulations were due to come into force in 2022 which would give time for the necessary work to be carried out.  It was anticipated that only a small number of payments would be required once re-calculations were completed.

 

·         A Member commented that she had already completed training in relation to the changes in relation to such a substantial piece of work.  Was there confidence that sufficient resources were available to meet demand to carry out the work around re-calculations? 

·      In response, it was advised that recruitment to meet the additional needs to resource the work was already underway and training of existing staff was underway.

 

·         Was there any indication of penalty regime at this time and how difficult it could be to obtain records from employers?

·      Consideration of what action to take if information was missing would be needed with a consistent process followed.  It was expected that guidance would be provided by Scheme Advisory Board.  Also, Members expectations would need to be managed once letters to say a recalculation is being made.  Spreadsheets would be going out to employers in order to gather in missing data in preparation for the change in legislation.

 

·         Officers were also able to clarify the increase cost per member and clarified that the main reason for the increase was due to the cost of investments.  Assurances were provided that the scheme still offered the best value for money.

 

·         Do new members affect the cost per member?

·      In response, Officers advised that costs per member were impacted but again, stated that costs would remain low.

 

·         A union representative asked whether local authority employees who faced or had been made redundant would be treated preferentially in recruitment to fill the Pension Officers posts which were anticipated?

·      It was advised that posts were advertised internally and were not ‘ringfenced’ between West Yorkshire local authorities.  Due to posts left vacant and the increase in the client base, recruitment of Pension Officers (approximately 11) plus a number of senior posts would be needed.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund

 

30.

REGISTER OF BREACHES OF LAW pdf icon PDF 81 KB

The Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, will present a report

(Document “U”) which inform Members that, In accordance with the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, from April 2015 all Public Service Pension Schemes come under the remit of the Pensions Regulator.

 

Section 70 of the Pensions Act 2004 (the Act) imposes a requirement to report a matter to The Pensions Regulator as soon as is reasonably practicable where that person has reasonable cause to believe that:

 

a.    a legal duty relating to the administration of the scheme has not been or is not being complied with, and

b.    the failure to comply is likely to be of material significance to The Pensions Regulator in the exercise of any of its functions.

 

A Register of Breaches of Law is therefore maintained in accordance with the Pensions Regulators requirements and WYPF Breaches procedure.

 

Recommendation

 

That the entries on the Register of Breaches of Law be noted.

 

(Caroline Blackburn – 01274 434523)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (Document “U”) was presented to Members to provide an update on the Breaches of law register.  The report included details of the percentage of statements sent which was still just under 100%.  No issues had been reported to the pensions regulator and the outstanding monies were no longer outstanding.

 

Members asked the following questions:

 

·         There was a late payment showing and members asked what discussions took place when payment was not received on time.

·      Officers advised that conversations were taking place but that some organisations were struggling due to COVID-19.

 

·         Were government guarantee clients separated out as part of risk management or were they managed in the same way as others?

·       Officers advised that clients were all managed in the same way.

 

·         Was action taken if payments were not made?

·      Officers advised that there were late payment penalty charges and a statutory interest charge was imposed if payments were a month late so that the fund was not subsidising non-paying clients.  Non-payments of this kind were also reported to the pensions regulator.

 

Resolved –

 

That the entries on the Register of Breaches of Law be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund

 

31.

TRAINING, CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Members are reminded that training to understand their responsibilities and the issues they will be dealing with is a very high priority.

 

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, (Document “V”) informs Members of training courses, conferences and seminars which may be of assistance. 

 

Recommended -

 

That consideration is given by Board Members to the events in Section 1 of Document “V” and Members note the requirement to complete the Pension Regulators toolkit training.

 

(Caroline Blackburn – 01274 434523)

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (Document “V”) was presented to inform Members of available training events as this remained a priority for Board Members to be able to understand and exercise their responsibilities.  The highlights of events coming up were shared from the report.

 

Details for an upcoming Spring seminar would be circulated to Members outside of the meeting.

 

Members asked the following questions:

 

·         Was there a skills profile to look at?

·         Officers responded that there was no profile available at the moment but following a re-structure a new post to look after Governance and Training would be needed.

 

 

NO RESOLUTION WAS PASSED ON THIS ITEM.

32.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

 

Members are asked to consider if the Not for Publication Appendix to Document “W” relating to the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel should be considered in the absence of the public and, if so, to approve the following recommendation:-

 

Recommended –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the Not for Publication Appendix to Document “W” relating to the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel held on 30 July 2020 because information would be disclosed which is considered to be exempt information within paragraph 3 (Financial or Business Affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

It is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing this information as it is in the overriding interest of proper administration that Members are made aware of the financial implications of any decision without prejudicing the financial position of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the Not for Publication Appendix to Document “W” relating to the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel held on 30 July 2020 because information would be disclosed which is considered to be exempt information within paragraph 3 (Financial or Business Affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

It is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing this information as it is in the overriding interest of proper administration that Members are made aware of the financial implications of any decision without prejudicing the financial position of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

 

33.

Minutes of West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF) Investment Advisory Panel held on 30 July 2020. pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, (Document “W – containing a Not  Publication Appendix) reminds Members that the role of the Pension Board, as defined by sections 5(1) and (2) of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 is to assist the Council as Scheme Manager in ensuring the effective and efficient governance and administration of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) including securing compliance with the LGPS regulations and any other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the LGPS; securing compliance with the requirements imposed in relation to the LGPS by the Pensions Regulator; and any other such matters as the LGPS regulations may specify.

 

The Minutes of meeting of WYPF Investment Advisory Panel are submitted to the Pension Board to enable the Board to ensure effective and efficient governance and administration of the LGPS.

 

Members are requested to review the Not for Publication minutes of the Investment Advisory Panel on 30 July 2020 appended to Document “W”.

 

(Rodney Barton – 01274 432317)

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the Not for Publication minutes of the Investment Advisory Panel on 30 July 2020 appended to Document “W” be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund