Rachel Brothwood, Director of Pensions
presented the report on an overview of the
Fund’s statutory duty and good practice policies. The
Director reported that the Board had previously agreed to allocate
policy champions from amongst its number to undertake work on the
review of the Fund’s policies. At the training session held
earlier in the day it was felt appropriate for the Board to
collectively contribute to the policy reviews as and when the
policies came around for review.
The Director also reported that the question of the
frequency of Board meetings had been raised. She opened discussion
on the Board’s draft terms of reference (ToR) and indicated
that there needed to be a broader review of the ToR and the
Board’s work plan.
Board members present noted paragraph 12 of
the ToR which stated Board members who failed to attend three or
more events would be asked to leave the Board. It was also noted that attendance was published
and could be scrutinised.
Adrian Turner suggested the Board discuss
meeting frequency be reviewed. He
stated that he felt bi-annual meetings were insufficient, and that
consideration should be given to increasing it to four. He also asked that the Board reconsider his
previously reported concern, that the Administering Authority, City
of Wolverhampton Council, had two representatives on the Board
because members were either on the Board as an employer
representative or a member representative, not as a Council
representative. He asked whether there
was any data from the Scheme Advisory Board on the matter. The
Director of Pensions reported that City of Wolverhampton
councillors were nominated to the Board as either an employer or
employee representative and that this was not something the Scheme
Advisory Board had commented on. In response to the comments about
attendance at meetings, the Director reported that this was the
first occasion since the establishment of the Board in 2015 that a
meeting was inquorate.
Board members noted that increasing meeting
frequency could further impact on attendance rates and the that
attendance requirements and meeting quorum needed to be considered
in the context of the size of the Board.
Steve Carter observed that if a member were to
resign and there was a delay in securing a replacement, the delay
could also affect to ability of the Board to be quorate for any
intervening meetings. The Director of Pensions acknowledged the
point and confirmed that the recruitment process to seek a
replacement Board member would be conducted mid-year. She agreed to
undertake a wider review of meeting and training arrangements to
inform a revised Terms of Reference, better placed to meets the
requirements of the Board.
That the Board promote the Fund’s Customer
Engagement Strategy amongst their representative groups.
That the Terms of Reference for the Pensions Board
for the 2018/2019 year be reviewed in more detail and presented to the next
meeting for approval.
That the actions taken by the Fund to review the
Policies in line with the Annual Review Plan be noted.
That the Fund’s new Customer Engagement
Strategy be noted.