Agenda item

WEST YORKSHIRE PENSION FUND UNAUDITED REPORT AND ACCOUNTS FOR 31 MARCH 2020

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, (Document “D”) advises Members that in order to comply with statutory accounting requirements for Local Government and Local Government Pension Schemes, WYPF must prepare an annual audited Report and Accounts. The 2019/20 Reports and Accounts is presented to the Joint Advisory Group to note, before being presented to Bradford Council Governance and Audit Committee later in the year for approval.

 

The Report and Accounts, appended to Document “D”, provide a summary of West Yorkshire Pension Fund’s financial position at the end of the year and key financial activities during the year ended 31 March 2020. The accounts have been prepared in accordance with:

 

·         CIPFA Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2019/20

·         CIPFA Guidance on Accounting for Local Government Pension Scheme Management Costs.

·         Latest Pensions Statement of Recommended Practice

·         International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as amended for the UK public sector

 

Recommended –

 

That the unaudited report and accounts for 2019/20 be considered and noted.

 

(Ola Ajala – 01274 434534

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund,

(Document “D”) advised Members that in order to comply with statutory accounting requirements for Local Government and Local Government Pension Schemes, WYPF must prepare an annual audited Report and Accounts. The 2019/20 Reports and Accounts were presented to the Joint Advisory Group to note, before being presented to Bradford Council Governance and Audit Committee later in the year for approval.

 

The Report and Accounts, appended to Document “D”, provided a summary of West Yorkshire Pension Fund’s financial position at the end of the year and key financial activities during the year ended 31 March 2020. The accounts were prepared in accordance with:

 

·         CIPFA Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2019/20

·         CIPFA Guidance on Accounting for Local Government Pension Scheme Management Costs.

·         Latest Pensions Statement of Recommended Practice

·         International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as amended for the UK public sector

 

 

The key headline in the report was that the investment value had reduced.  No assets had been lost but the value had reduced as expected and between January and March 2020 the Fund had reduced by approximately £2 billion of value.  The latest value, however, had seen an increase to the higher point of £14 billion and was now encroaching £15 billion market gain. When comparing the accounting value to performance value of investments the fund had lost 8% between 2018/19 and 2019/20 and that was a reflection of the impact of COVID-19.  Assurances were provided that the fund was still well funded and had a good net cash flow.  Nothing had been seen in the cash flow which would impact on the Fund’s ability to pay pensions; to fund operations or meet investment commitments.  It was confirmed that the aim would be to keep costs per member around £43 and not to exceed £45 over the next three years.

 

It was explained that ordinarily, at this time of year, the financial statements would be finalised for approval by the Governance and Audit Committee.  In light of the current pandemic the Government had extended the deadline to reflect that auditors had not been able to access the offices and the report being considered was still in draft form.  It was expected that the report would be finalised for approval by September and when that was completed an electronic version would be circulated to management and the Joint Advisory Group.

 

 

A Member, whilst welcoming the report and acknowledging the amended deadlines, explained that, as a representative of the Joint Advisory Group, all concerns he heard from members was about climate change and investment in fossil fuels. He suggested that a comment on that topic be included in the Chair’s statement or foreword to the accounts.  Other Members echoed his request that the report should refer to those issues.

 

A Member believed that the reference to the annual meetings did not reflect the lively discussion based on questions from Members and about fossil fuels. It was acknowledged that the meeting held in November 2019 had been considerably different from those in previous years and it was agreed that the very lively debate could be highlighted.

 

Following suggestions that the gender pay gap and adherence to the living wage could be included it was confirmed that the Fund did meet the living wage including casual or work experience employees. A gender pay gap analysis had been conducted by Bradford Council but the final version had not yet been provided. There had been previous reports and in March 2019 it was known that in Bradford there was a gap of about 7.3; Leeds had a gap of 6 and when compared with neighbouring authorities Bradford was in second place and it was agreed that the information could be included in the final version.

 

A Member, whilst acknowledging the report referred to the year to March 2020, suggested that it should include the impact of COVID-19 on equity values and risks to the Fund’s investments. 

 

It was also suggested that, in light of conversations earlier in the meeting and the lack of a decision matrix for investments, more detail on investments should be included in the report in future.   That view was echoed by a number of Members.

 

Members were thanked for their comments and their engagement and, as the report was in development, all comments would be taken on board and, where possible, their views would be included in the updated version.

 

Resolved –

 

That the unaudited report and accounts for 2019/20 be noted.

 

ACTION: Director, West Yorkshire Pension Fund

 

 

Supporting documents: