Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting via MS Teams

Contact: Anne-Marie Kenward 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies / Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Apologies received from Ms B Black.

 

Ms T Pearce declared as interest regarding 95k exit cap legislation.

 

2.

Minutes of the Pension Fund Board pdf icon PDF 485 KB

To agree the minutes of the 21 October 2020 Pension Fund Board meeting.

Minutes:

Mr P Dearden would be added to the attendance for the October meeting.

 

RESOLVED

Members of the committee AGREED the minutes of the Pension Fund Board held on 14 October 2020 pending the above change.

3.

Minutes of Pension Fund Committee

To note the minutes of the 19 November 2020 Pension Fund Committee meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ACTION

Minutes of the Pension Fund Committee held on 19 November 2020 would be circulated to members of the Board once published.

4.

Administration Performance Statistics pdf icon PDF 781 KB

To be presented by Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Admin. Manager.

Minutes:

Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Administration Manager, gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.


Ms Price highlighted the following points:

  • Figures did not cover the full quarter due to the timing of the meeting. Figures for the full quarter would be included in report brought to the March meeting.
  • There had been an increase to the number of scheme members using My Pensions Online. The Administration Team would continue to push registration.
  • The software provider was working to build an e-form facility. Currently members could download the forms to complete and send back via the document upload facility. E-forms would improve processing timescales.
  • There had been a review of staffing levels within the Member Liaison Team with one team member being transferred from another area to support reducing call times.
  • Aggregation cases were at a high volume and took longer to action due to requesting information from external parties. Processes were under review to ensure the team were able to meet demand.
  • 73% of overdue cases were at the stage of waiting information from an external party i.e. the employer or scheme member.

 

The following points were discussed as a result of questions from members of the Board:

  • The Administration team were able to view cases split by type, i.e. death cases. They could also report on whether overdue cases had been carried over from a previous quarter.
  • Information outstanding from external parties was chased by standards set by the case type i.e. leavers data at 2-3 weeks, death cases after 6 weeks.
  • Aggregation cases were expected to take a long time to resolve with a final deadline given several months in the future. Ms Price was investigating how the workflow system could be used to only count these cases as overdue after the final deadline had passed.
  • Employer Liaison officers worked with employers to stay aware of their timescales for responses.

 

RESOLVED

Members of the Board NOTED the update.

 

5.

Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure pdf icon PDF 615 KB

To be presented by Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Admin. Manager.

Minutes:

Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Administration Manager gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.

 

Ms Price highlighted the following:

  • Formal complaints had reduced including a reduction in ill health complaints. There had been 4 formal complaints for 2019/20.
  • There had been a change in the complaint process allowing earlier intervention at the in-formal complaint stage.
  • Feedback from complaints had been used to improve processes.
  • One case regarding ill health retirement had been referred to the Pension Ombudsman. This had been resolved by the employer before tribunal.

 

RESOLVED Members of the Board NOTED the update.

 

6.

Breaches of the law pdf icon PDF 562 KB

To be presented by Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager, gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.

 

Mrs Lewis-Smith highlighted the following:

  • There was a total of £112,957.40 outstanding contribution payments due from employers. This included the portion of contributions paid by employees.
  • There were no concerns over the ability of employers to make payments.
  • There were no plans to apply interest or penalties at this time due to missed payments not being chased in the past. New procedures were now in place to ensure missed payments were rigorously chased and if employers did not respond within established deadlines, interest and penalty payments would be applied as per the Pension Administration Strategy.

 

RESOLVED Members of the Board NOTED the update.

 

7.

Training Opportunities pdf icon PDF 572 KB

To be presented by Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager

Minutes:

Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager, gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.

 

Mrs Lewis-Smith highlighted the following:

  • Much of the training offer had moved online and had seen higher levels of attendance.
  • There had been good feedback from the recent Barnett Waddingham training.
  • If Members of the Board undertook outside training, they should email Mrs Lewis-Smith to have it added to their training log for inclusion in the annual report.

 

RESOLVED Members of the Board NOTED the update.

 

8.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 23 KB

To be presented by Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager

Minutes:

Mrs C Lewis-Smith, Pensions Administration Manager, gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.

 

RESOLVED Members of the Board NOTED the update.

9.

Annual Benefits Statements - Administration Year End Update pdf icon PDF 577 KB

To be presented by Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Admin. Manager.

Minutes:

Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Administration Manager, gave an overview of the report circulated with the agenda.

 

Ms Price highlighted the following points:

  • One employer, an outsourced schools service with only one employee, had not provided an annual return and is still in the process of completing an admission agreement. After initial difficulties making contact it had been established they had not taken payments from their employee. They were now in the process of completing the admission agreement.  The employer would now be responsible for making a lump sum payment to bring both employer and employee payments up to date. They could then agree a fair payment plan to reclaim the employees share.
  • One other large employer had made a late return which had needed a lot of work to rectify data. Work had finally been completed the last week of November. Returns from this employer would now be rectified on a weekly basis.
  • 93% of annual benefit statements had now been issued. Outstanding statements were issued on a weekly basis.
  • On page 30 of the agenda pack the 2018/19 figure for outstanding queries should be 185, the total of 297 was still correct.
  • The number of outstanding queries relating to previous year end returns had reduced by 46 over September/October 2020.
  • The above outstanding cases related to 23 employers. These employers had been written to outlining the action needed, their responsibilities and the penalties that would be imposed from January 2021 if action was not taken. Employer Liaison Officers would continue to work with employers to get cases resolved without the need for penalties where possible. Initially communication had gone to the employers nominated contact but action would be taken to identify management level contacts if necessary.
  • There continued to be problems with several of the payroll providers used by schools in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire. Normally contact would not been made directly with schools but this was becoming necessary to involve them as the school retained liability for fines.

 

RESOLVED Members of the Board NOTED the update.

 

10.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve to exclude the press and public as the following item is

exempt by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12a of the Local

Government Act 1972 because it contains information relating to the

financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the

authority holding that information).

11.

Annual Benefits Statements - Confidential Appendix

To be presented by Ms S Price, Assistant Pensions Admin. Manager.

12.

Confidential minutes of Pension Fund Board

To agree the confidenital minutes of the 21 October 2020 Pension Fund Board meeting.

 

13.

Confidential minutes of Pension Fund Committee

To note the confidenital minutes of the 19 November 2020 Pension Fund Committee meeting.

14.

Pension Fund Performance

To be presented by Julie Edwards, Head of Pensions.

Minutes:

Date of next meeting

17 March 2020, 10am

15.

Date of next meeting / AOB

17 March 2021, 10am. Venue to be confirmed.

Minutes:

Date of next meeting

17 March 2020, 10am