[To receive an update on the work by the Fund in relation to its governance throughout 2017/2018 and preparation for 2018/2019]
Rachel Howe, Head of Governance and Corporate Services presented the report on the work undertaken by the Fund in relation to its governance throughout the 2017/2018 year and preparation for 2018/2019 year.
Referring to the Board’s proposed terms of reference, particularly the paragraph on membership, discussion was had on the membership of the Board in relation to elected Councillors. In answer to a question, Rachel Brothwood, Director of Pensions confirmed that membership of other Local Pensions Boards across the LGPS had elected Councillors from the Administering Authority and that the regulations governing the membership of Local Pension Boards permit, with appointment as employer or member representative, elected councillors to take up seats on the Board.
Steve Carter asked whether the Fund had contacted organisations outside of local authorities to gauge their interest in becoming members of the Board and whether there were external organisations represented on the Board. The Director of Pensions advised that the Fund had not opened up the membership of the Board to the wider employee side as member representatives were appointed via the Trade Unions. It had however, sought and secured representatives from the employer side outside the local authority. Jaqueline Carman (university representative) and Joe McCormick (academy representative), both present, were two examples of employer representatives who had responded to the open invitation.
The Chair asked for clarification on, if the Board’s terms of reference previously included elected councillors could the Board now review that position. The Director of Pensions reported that officers had considered discussion at previous meetings and put forward draft terms of reference for review and approval. Changes had been made to the terms of reference relating to frequency of meetings, the quorum, nominations to the Board. The changes would contribute to the effective functioning of the Board going forward.
At the end of the discussion and with no other views being expressed, the Chair suggested that the Board note the comments raised in relation to membership and requested officers write out again with the findings of their review of elected councillors on pensions boards and the position elsewhere in the country. Councillor Hazel Malcolm asked that the expectations of elected councillors on the Board also be clarified in the note.
Referring to the proposed increase in the frequency of Board meetings from two to four times per year as set out in the draft terms of reference, the Director of Pensions reported that the next meeting of the Board was set for 22 January 2019. A further meeting would be scheduled on the date to be confirmed in April 2019. Thereafter four quarterly meetings would be scheduled during a year. The meetings would be scheduled to follow meetings of the Pensions Committee.
1. That the Terms of Reference for the 2018/19 year be approved.
2. That the Fund’s risk register and the mitigations in place to manage risk at the Fund be noted.
3. That the proposed training throughout the year with reference to the knowledge and skills framework be noted
4. That the progress of the Fund in delivering benefit statements to members be noted.
5. That the feedback analysis from the Fund’s Customer Engagement Strategy be noted.