Minutes of Proceedings
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.
- Agreed minutes of the 20 January 2015 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).
2. STANDING ITEMS
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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