Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 16 June 2009

Mr D McClarty 
Mr J Wells 
Mr T Lunn

Mr J Dallat
Mrs M O’Neill
Mr G Ballantine (Government Actuary’s Department) 
Mr A Spooner (M&G Investments)

In the Chair: 
Mr D McClarty

In attendance: 
Ms S Lappin, Mrs L Anderson, Mr H Clarke, Mrs J Beattie


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Jean Beattie, a new member of the Pensions Administration Team. Apologies were received from Mr Ballantine and Mr Spooner, both of whom will be invited to the next meeting. The minutes of the Trustee meeting held on 19 May 2009 were agreed.

Action required:
  • Pensions Administration Team to arrange for upload of minutes of 19 May 2009 to the Assembly website
  • Pensions Administration Team to invite Mr Ballantine and Mr Spooner to next meeting


Risk Register

There have been no changes to the risk register since the last meeting.


Evaluation of Trustee Training

The Trustees agreed that the training held on 19 May 2009 was very useful and it was agreed that management would look at future training solutions.

Action required:

  • Pensions Administration Section to draft a training plan and issue to the Trustees for discussion at the next meeting
  • Contact Eversheds with Trustee feedback
Challenge to the Scheme

The Trustees were informed that the complainant has accepted the offer in line with the agreed terms. The Trustees requested that a summary of the legal costs in respect of the defence of the complaint be provided for the next meeting.

Actions required:
  • Pensions Administration Team to prepare an summary of legal costs for the next meeting
Administrative Support to the Trustees

It was agreed at the previous meeting that a paper on the future provision of administrative support would be prepared for discussion. Work is still ongoing on the future provision of administration support, therefore it has been decided by management to defer discussion until the next meeting to allow full consideration of this issue.

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration section to prepare options paper for next meeting
Increased Accrual Rate

The Trustees were informed that to date 34 Members have opted to revert to the lower fiftieths accrual rate. New Members to the Assembly will be on the higher accrual rate with the option to opt for the lower rate.

Pensions Internal Audit

The Trustees noted the Internal Audit report and the recommendations to be implemented.

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration section to implement audit recommendations.
Service Level Agreement with GAD

The SLA with GAD was agreed and signed.

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration Team to forward signed SLA to GAD
PM’s Review of Parliamentary Pensions

A draft response to SSRB was discussed and approved for release by the Trustees

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration Team to forward agreed response to SSRB


The Trustees approved the draft Annual Report and Accounts and agreed that it be forwarded to the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO).

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration Team to forward annual report and accounts to the NIAO


Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

An FOI request has been received in relation to former members pension details. The trustees discussed the information and agreed that the information should not be provided in this case as there was a possibility that individuals could be identified. It was agreed that aggregate information already published or due to be published should be provided as a response.

The Trustees also asked Pensions Administration Section to contact the Assembly’s FOI Unit to determine whether the Pension Fund would be responsible for any legal costs arising from challenges to FOI decisions.

Action Required:
  • Pensions Administration Section to contact the Assembly’s FOI Unit.


The Trustees agreed to meet on Tuesday 15 September at 9am

Action Required:
  • Pensions Admin Section to confirm date and issue meeting invites

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