Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 09 December 2003

PRESENT: Mr D Watson
Mr M Carrick
Mr J Dallat
Mr J Kelly
Mr D McClarty

IN THE CHAIR: Mr D Watson

IN ATTENDANCE: Mr T Evans, Mr E Hobson, Mrs K McCartney, and Mr N Burns

1. Minutes of meeting of 12th November were accepted.

2. MATTERS ARISING

RESPONSE FROM RLAM - INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE

The Trustees were provided with the response from PWC relating to RLAM's comments on the disappointing investment return for the period up to March 2002. The Trustees agreed to discuss the document in more detail at the next meeting however they did wish to highlight how RLAM's overall performance was below the required level. The Trustees agreed that important lessons could be learnt from this in terms of the next contract.

In discussing the new contract the Trustees agreed that they should scour the market for a more robust group of firms to compete in the tender exercise. The Trustees requested that a paper should be produced outlining the key requirements that should be built into the tender including the production of quarterly reports. 

In terms of assessing the firms the Trustees agreed on the importance of identifying the nature of industry in which the fund would be invested. Mr Evans suggested that the Scottish Parliament were very sensitive to this issue and that he would approach them to obtain guidance. 
Mr Carrick stressed that excess emphasis on this issue could have an adverse affect on the performance of the fund. 

APPOINTMENT OF SCHEME ADVISERS MEETING WITH THE WELSH ASSEMBLY

Mr Evans informed the Trustees that following a meeting with Mr Wayne Cowley the NAW Trustees have accepted the invitation of the Trustees to have a meeting at Parliament Buildings. This meeting will be arranged for a Thursday in mid to late January.

METHODOLOGY FOR ACTUARIAL VALUATION

The PWC response, received on 8 December compared GAD's valuation methodology with their own. Mr Evans confirmed that PWC's methodology would be more focused to the private sector. PWC concluded that GAD's methodology is a traditional actuarial method and the Trustees should not worry about which method is more correct. The Trustees agreed there was no further action required.

QUARTERLY TRENDS

The chairman informed the Trustees that RLAM's response in relation to quarterly figures for 2002/ 2003 in comparison with GAD's valuation statement as at 31 March 2003 has not yet been received.

PENSION SHARING ON DIVORCE

Mr Hobson informed the Trustees that he had not yet received the Assembly Legal Advisers response to PWC's paper regarding pension sharing on divorce.

OUTSOURCING PENSION PAYROLL

Mr Evans informed the Trustees that he had received the support of Mr Archie Cameron in relation to the Outsourcing of Pension Payroll. Mr Evans also informed the Trustees that he and Mr Hobson would be arranging a meeting with Mr Ralph Garden and that they would expect to have a proposal in place early in the next financial year.

TRUSTEE CHECKLIST

The Trustees agreed that there were no further issues to add to the Trustee Checklist at this time

RETIREMENTS/ DEFERRED AWARDS

The chairman offered his congratulations to the two Trustees who had been re-elected following the recent election process.
Mr Hobson informed the Trustees that pension correspondence had been issued to new and returning members since the election. Mrs McCartney reported to the Trustees that the Personnel Office was in the process of issuing retirement papers to the former Members who were unsuccessful following the election, as soon as the figures were confirmed by GAD.

The Trustees approved the payment of pension benefits in respect of Mrs Margaret Joan Carson, Mr Samuel Foster, Sir John Gorman, Mr John Kelly, Mr Edward McGrady and Ms Brid Rodgers.

 

3. INVESTMENT/ FUND MANAGER CONTRACT

Mr Hobson informed the Trustees that Mr John Gibson (Head of Procurement) had agreed to the formal extension of the current contract on a monthly basis until a new contract is in place.
Mr Evans informed the Trustees of his intention to invite Mr Grant Ballantine to Parliament Buildings to assist with the drafting of a revised Statement of Investment Principles based on the new profile of Members. In the meantime John Gibson would be considering the procurement issues.

4. INCREASE IN EMPLOYER'S CONTRIBUTION

Mr Hobson informed the Trustees that the increase in employer's contributions to 21.3% had taken effect on 1 December 2003. Backdated contributions are currently being calculated on an individual basis and will be credited to the fund once finalised.

5. TRUSTEE MEMBERSHIP

Mr Evans reviewed the decision by the Secretary of State to invite the Trustees to remain in position following suspension. He also outlined his intentions to liaise with Stuart Johnston from OFMDFM and to obtain legal advice in relation to the implications the election has on this position.

Mr Evans also informed the Trustees of a recent meeting with Mr Archie Cameron in which they discussed the composition of a new Pension Trustees group. Mr Cameron had suggested the benefits of including a pensioner and a professional person, possibly a lawyer, on the group. He also stated that such a position would require an amendment to the current legislation. The Trustees agreed for Mr Evans to explore further.

6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

SWISS LIFE

Mr Hobson informed the Trustees that the Swiss Life (UK) group income protection business and renewal rights to group life and group critical illness protection have been sold to Unum Provident. This will take effect on 1 January 2004. Our scheme will continue to be administered by Swiss Life, however we will have the option to transfer to Unum Provident when our scheme is due for renewal in October 2004.

7. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was agreed that the next meeting involving the NAW Trustees should be held in mid to late January.

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