Agenda and draft minutes

Pensions Committee - Tuesday 27th July 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Guildhall, Northampton, NN1 1DE

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

15.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

Minutes:

Peter Borley-Cox, Councillor Lloyd Bunday and John Wignall declared disclosable pecuniary interests as members of LGPS. Councillor Graham Lawman disclosed a personal interest as his wife is a deferred member of LGPS.

 

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 15 June 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 June 2021 were approved and signed as an accurate record of the meeting subject to the amendment to Councillor Graham Lawman’s declaration of interest.

17.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

There were none.

18.

Action Log pdf icon PDF 424 KB

Copy herewith

Minutes:

The Chair asked members to note the action log.

 

RESOLVED: That the Pension Committee noted the action log.

19.

Internal Audit Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 497 KB

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Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Internal Audit Report 2020-21 was presented to the Pensions Committee on behalf of Duncan Wilkinson.

 

Members discussed the report and any questions would be circulated to Duncan outside of the meeting.

 

RESOLVED: That the Pension Committee considered and noted the findings from Internal Audit work during 2020-21.

20.

Governance Policy and Compliance Statement pdf icon PDF 456 KB

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Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the Chair’s invitation, the Governance Officer presented the report and explained that following the move to Unitary on 1 April 2021, West Northamptonshire Council was required to produce a new Governance Policy and Compliance Statement as detailed in Appendix A of the report.

 

The policy was approved by Full Council in May 2021 and once approved by the Pensions Committee would be sent to the secretary of state for approval.

 

Members discussed the report and approved the Governance Policy and Compliance Statement.

 

RESOLVED: The Pension Committee approved the Governance Policy and Compliance Statementin Appendix A to demonstrate compliance with Regulation 55 of the Local Government PensionScheme Regulations 2013.

 

21.

Administering Authority Discretions pdf icon PDF 457 KB

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Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the Chair’s invitation the Head of Pensions presented the report and explained that the Administering Authority Discretions policy required updating the reflect the administering authority name change to West Northamptonshire Council.

 

Members discussed the report and subject to the removal of ‘NCC’ in the report, members were happy to approve the report.

 

RESOLVED: The Pension Committee approved the “Administering Authority Discretions Policy” provided in Appendix A to this report subject to the removal of ‘NCC’.

22.

Annual Report and Statement of Accounts 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 426 KB

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Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the Chair’s invitation, the Pension Services Financial Manager presented the report and explained that the draft report was based on guidance issued from CIPFA. The Northamptonshire Pension Fund Annual Report and Statement of Accounts set out the scheme framework, including membership of both the Pension Committee and Local Pension Board; management and financial performance, investment policy and performance. Highlights in the Statement of Accounts noted significant increase in the Fund’s net assets of £672.6m increasing the net assets to £3,076.9m, contributions have increased reflecting the increase in average contribution rates and

increase in benefits reflecting the increase in pensioners during the year.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED: The Pension Committee:

a) Approved the Draft Annual Report; and

b) Noted the Draft Statement of Accounts of the Pension Fund for the 2020-21

financial year.

23.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The following report(s) contain exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1, Schedule 12A of Local Government Act 1972.

 

Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Members are reminded that whilst the following item(s) have been marked as exempt, it is for the meeting to decide whether or not to consider each of them in private or in public. In making the decision, members should balance the interests of individuals or the Council itself in having access to the information. In considering their discretion members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers.

 

Should Members decide not to make a decision in public, they are recommended to resolve as follows:

 

“That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part I, Paragraph(s) 3 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”

Minutes:

The Chair moved that the remainder of the meeting be held in private:

 

That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part I, Paragraph(s) 3 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

RESOLVED: Members agreed that the public and press were excluded from the remainder of the meeting and the Pensions Committee moved into private session.

 

24.

Business Plan Update

Copy herewith

Minutes:

At the Chair’s invitation, the Head of Pensions presented the Business Plan Update and explained that the report highlighted work undertaken from the last quarter. The Head of Pensions summarised the report and highlighted the following salient points:

 

·       Following the Pension’s Committee approval for the procurement of a global custodian, Northern Trust had been reappointed.

·       Officers were pleased to report that they were happy with the current suppliers of actuarial, benefits and governance consultancy; in order to manage numerous planned procurements and other business plan activities, including the triennial valuation, Officers were recommending to the Pensions Committee that the actuarial consultancy contract be extended for a period of12 months.

·       In terms of the cyber-resilience strategy and action plan, the Local Pension Board had provided scrutiny of the strategy and action plan and would be brought to the Pensions Committee in October 2021 for approval.

 

The Chair thanked the Head of Pensions and the team for their work and was happy to hear the work being undertaken on cyber security.

 

Members discussed the report.

 

RESOLVED:The Pension Committee is asked to:

1) Approve the extension of the Actuarial Consultancy Services contract by 12 months (4.3)

2) Approve the additional activity to retender the legal services contract at the end of the contract date (5.2)

3) Approve the additional activity to review the Pension Regulator’s revised code of practice (5.3)

4) Note the Business Plan Update to 31 May 2021

25.

Annual Investment Review

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Minutes:

At the Chair’s invitation, the Investment Manager presented the report and introduced Chris West from Mercer, the Investment Manager explained that the Annual Pension Committee Review was produced by Mercer as detailed in the appendix pack. The current funding level estimated at 31 March 2021 was 105.4% which showed a strong performance of the fund despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Chris West from Mercer delivered the Annual Investment Review presentation to the Pensions Committee.

 

Members discussed the presentation and commended the performance of the fund through the pandemic.

 

RESOLVED: The Pensions Committee noted the Mercer presentation, Annual Pension Committee review.

 

 

26.

Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.