Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 06 May 2014

The Chairperson welcomed the representatives from Deloitte to the meeting and informed the Trustees that there would be a short training session on Investment Strategy prior to item 5 on the agenda.

Condolences

The Chairperson expressed the Trustees’ sadness at the recent loss of Mr David McClarty MLA, who was one of the original Trustees. Mr McClarty served as a Trustee from 2000 to 2011 and as Chair of the Trustees from June 2007 until June 2011.

1.    MINUTES OF PREVIOUS TRUSTEES MEETING

The draft minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2014, and the closed meetings on 10 December 2013, 4 March 2014 and the 8 April 2014 were agreed.

Action required:

  • Agreed minutes of the 21 January 14 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).


2.   
Apologies

No apologies were received.

3.    Standing Items

Risk Register

The Trustees noted that the risk register had been reformatted into the corporate format and updated as agreed at the last meeting.  The risk register for 2014 – 15 was agreed.

Conflict of Interest

The Trustees declared no conflicts of interest other than their membership of the Scheme.  Mr Wells declared an interest in the outcome of the AVC Fund discussion.

4.    Matters Arising 

Annual Report and Accounts 2012 – 2013 

The Trustees noted that the Report and Accounts had been completed and laid before the Assembly. 

Pension Sharing on Divorce 

The Trustees considered the draft Pension sharing on divorce policy and draft amendment to the Scheme Rules provided by Eversheds.  The policy and amendments were agreed.

IFRP – Consultation on Members Pensions

The Trustees noted that the public consultation closed on the 8 April 2014 and that responses from MLA’s were accepted until 18 April 2014.

The Chairperson provided the Trustees with a brief review of the Trustees position and agreed to discuss the issues further once the Panel have provided further information on their intentions.

Mr M Brady joined the meeting at 9.38am

Queries raised at last meeting

The Trustees considered correspondence from Mr Wells regarding councillor pension transfers and Members Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).

  • Councillor Pension Transfer
     

The Trustees were reminded of their previous discussions in relation to councillors who have preserved pensions with NILGOSC being permitted to transfer their NILGOSC pensions into the AMPS outside the one year time limit which applies for transfers in.

The Trustees noted that legal advice confirmed that the Scheme Rules currently do not permit transfers outside of the one year rule, and that the Panel would have to be consulted as the power to amend the Scheme Rules lay with them.

The Trustees agreed to consult with the Panel regarding amendment to the Scheme Rules to allow the transfer of Councillors NILGOSC pensions into AMPS outside the one year restriction as a one off exercise.

  • Chancellors Budget Changes affecting AVC Funds
     

Mr Wells advised fellow Trustees that the Scheme Rules currently allow a Member to draw down a maximum of 25% of their AVC fund as cash on retirement.  Recent changes in legislation would potentially allow 100% of the AVC fund to be taken as cash in the event that the Member could demonstrate that they have a minimum annual pension of £12,000 pa. 

Mr Wells outlined the potential option of permitting Members to take their entire pension commencement lump sum from their AVC pot.  The lump sum would be tax free provided it does not exceed 25% of the total value of the Members pension pot.  

During discussions the representatives from Deloitte advised the Trustees that information should be sought from the Actuary to ensure that such an option would be cost neutral.

  • Chancellors Budget Changes affecting AVC Funds
     

Action required:

  • Letter to be drafted to the Panel seeking an amendment to the Scheme Rules to allow the transfer of councillor NILGOSC preserved pensions into AMPS outside the one year restriction (Pensions Team).
  • Request information from the Actuary regarding the potential impact of taking the entire lump sum from the AVC pot (Pension Team).


Training session on Investment Strategy

The Chairperson handed over to Mr Sutherland from Deloitte who delivered a training session on ‘Investment Strategy’.

Mr M Brady left the meeting at 10.23am    

The Trustees discussed the current diversity of the AMPS Fund and proposals to further diversify the Fund by buying into a diversified growth fund.

Mr R Hussey left the meeting at 10.26am

The Trustees also discussed potential ways of achieving further diversification while maintaining transparency and ensuring that the Funds investment strategy is appropriate and understood by Trustees and Members alike.

Mr J Wells left the meeting at 10.32am

Meeting suspended as inquorate.

Mr Dallat proposed that the next Trustees meeting commence at the earlier of time of 9.00am. This proposal was seconded by Mr Lunn.

Action required:

  • Pensions Team to schedule a meeting prior to summer recess to discuss the two outstanding agenda items from today’s meeting:
  • Review of Investment Principles, and
  • Triennial Scheme Valuation.


5.   
DATE OF NEXT MEETING          

Before Summer recess, date to be confirmed.

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