Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 28 April 2015

In the Chair: Mr T Lunn MLA

The Chairperson welcomed the representatives from GAD and Deloitte to the meeting.

1. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS TRUSTEES MEETING

The draft minutes of the meeting held on 20 of January 2015 were agreed.

Action required:

  • Agreed minutes of the 20 January 2015 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).

2. STANDING ITEMS

Risk Register

The Trustees considered and approved the Risk Register for 2015 - 16.

Conflicts of Interest

The Trustees declared that their membership of the Scheme is an ongoing conflict.

Mr Wells advised the Trustees that he will be resigning as Minister of HSSPS.

3. MATTERS ARISING

Letters of condolence

The Trustees noted that a letter of condolence was issued to Mrs Savage as agreed at the 20 January meeting.

Councillor Pension Transfers

The Chairperson informed the Trustees that the Pensions Team wrote to the 32 affected Members regarding the transfer exercise.  Returns were received from 17 Members and of those 17, 14 expressed an interest in exploring the transfer option.  The Pensions Team will work with Deloitte to progress the exercise.

Action required:

  • Contact NILGOSC to obtain CETVs and write to Members (Deloitte)

Triennial Scheme Valuation 2011 - 2014

The Chairperson advised the Trustees that the final valuation report has been received and shared with the Assembly Commission and the Independent Financial Review Panel.  The Trustees noted that the Consolidated Fund contribution is decreasing from 21.6% to 20.6% from 1 April 2015.

Annual Report and Accounts 2013 – 2014

The Trustees approved the final version of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2013 – 14.

Action required:

Signed Report and Accounts to be sent to the NI Audit Office, printed and laid before the Assembly (Pensions Team)

Mr Wells queried the different funding levels in the valuation (109%) and in the accounts (81%).  Mr Gurden explained that 2 different requirements apply to the discount rate when calculating these figures. The discount rate used in the statement for the annual accounts is based on bond yields, whereas the discount rate used in the triennial scheme valuation is based on returns expected from the schemes actual investment profile.

Northern Ireland Audit Office Annual Audit 2013 – 2014

The Trustees discussed the 2 minor recommendations made by the Audit Office following their audit and noted the report to those charged with governance.

Lifetime Allowance 2014

The Chairperson informed the Trustees that Lifetime Allowance statements were issued to all Pensioners by Deloitte as agreed at the 20 January meeting.

AMPS Newsletter

The Trustees were reminded that they had previously agreed to issue a newsletter to Scheme members annually.  The Trustees agreed that the next edition of the Newsletter should provide information on:

  • The changing pensions landscape following the new pension flexibilities introduced in April 2015;
  • Pension Liberation Scams;
  • How to request pension illustrations / estimates; and
  • Updated scheme contact details.

Action required:

  • Newsletter to be drafted and issued before the next meeting (Pensions Team).

Mrs D Lamont joined the meeting at 9:30am

4. REVIEW OF INVESTMENT STRATEGY

The Chairperson invited Mr Gurden from GAD to talk to his papers on the Schemes Investment Strategy.  Following deliberations by the Trustees at previous meetings two Statements of Investment Principles (SIP) were drafted for consideration.  The Trustees discussed the options for investing in diversified growth funds and agreed that they would invest new contributions in M&G’s Episode Allocation Fund.  The Trustees agreed to review the fund performance at the end of the 2015 – 2016 financial year and amend the SIP if necessary.

Action required:

  • Write to M&G re investment in Episode Allocation Fund (Trustees).
  • Scanned copy of signed Statement of Investment Principles to be sent to GAD (Pensions Team).
  • Arrange for fund performance review in 1 year (Pensions Team).

Mr J Dallat left the meeting at 9:40am

Mr J Dallat returned to the meeting at 9:41am

5. PENSION FLEXIBILITIES (AVCs)

This item was deferred to 30 June 2015 meeting.

6. ABOLITION OF CONTRACTING OUT STATUS

The Chairperson informed the Trustees that contracting out rebates will cease for both employer and employees from 1 April 2016.  Mrs Anderson summarised the impact of the change for the Scheme.  The Trustees agreed to defer discussions on this matter until after the Independent Financial Review Panel makes a determination on Members Pension provision.  Mr Gurden suggested that the Scheme register with the Scheme Reconciliation Service to enable reconciliation of contracted out records with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Action required:

  • Register with HMRC Scheme Reconciliation Service (Pensions Team).

7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

IFRP Review of AMPS

The Trustees noted that the Pensions Team, in their role as Commission staff, are providing information and options to the Independent Financial Review Panel to inform the Panels review of the AMPS.

Mr J Dallat left the meeting at 9:58am (meeting no longer quorate)

8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Tuesday 30 June 2015

BITESIZE TRAINING SESSION

The Chairperson handed over to Mr M McClintock and Mr N Burns (Deloitte) who provided the Trustees with a bitesize training session on ‘2014 Budget: Pensions – Flexibility at retirement’.

Meeting ended at 10:18am

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