Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 30 June 2015

The Chairperson welcomed Ms Ruane to her first meeting of the Pension Trustees.  Ms Ruane is filling the vacancy left by Mr Brady’s departure from the Assembly.  The Trustees noted their thanks to Mr Brady for his service as Trustee and wished him well in his new role.  A letter of thanks will be issued.

Ms Ruane raised some queries about investment selection and it was agreed that some information would be provided in advance of the next meeting.

Action required:

  • Letter of thanks to be issued to Mr Brady (Pensions Team);
  • Information on ethical investments to be provided to Ms Ruane.

Condolences

The Trustees noted the death of another pensioner member, Mrs Anne Benson.  Mrs Benson was the widow of former MLA Tom Benson.  A letter of condolence will be issued to the family.

Action required:

  • Letter of condolence to be issued to the Benson family (Pensions Team);

The Chair welcomed the representatives from Deloitte to the meeting.

1. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS TRUSTEES MEETING

The draft minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2015 and the closed meeting held on 9 June 2015 were agreed.

Action required:

  • Agreed minutes of the 28 April 2015 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).

2. STANDING ITEMS

Risk Register

The Trustees noted that there had been no change to the risk register since the last meeting.  Pension Trustee membership will be updated for the next meeting.

Action Required:

  • Pension Trustee membership on Risk Register to be updated for next meeting (Pensions Team).

Conflicts of Interest

The Trustees declared that their membership of the Scheme is an ongoing conflict.  Mr Wells declared his membership of the AVC scheme in relation to item 4, Pension Flexibilities.

3. MATTERS ARISING

Councillor Pension Transfer – information request

The Chairperson informed the Trustees that the one off transfer exercise is being progressed.  The Chairperson advised the Trustees that a late application had been received and asked whether or not it should be accepted.  The Trustees agreed to accept the late application.

Action required:

  • Write to the affected Member to advise that the late application has been accepted (Pensions Team).

Annual Report and Accounts 2013 – 2014

The Trustees noted that the Annual Report and Accounts for 2013 – 2014 has been printed and laid before the Assembly and is ready for distribution.

Action required:

  • Arrange for the distribution of the printed Report and Accounts 2013 – 2014 (Pensions Team).

AMPS Newsletter

The Trustees approved the Newsletter for issue.

Action required:

  • Newsletter to be issued (Pensions Team).

Investment Strategy

The Trustees noted that M&G have implemented the new investment strategy agreed at the last meeting.

Scheme Reconciliation Service Registration (HMRC)

The Trustees noted that the registration with the Scheme Reconciliation Service has been completed.  The Pensions Team will work with HMRC over the next few months to ensure that scheme records are complete and reconciled to HMRC records.

Action required:

  • Exchange data with HMRC and respond to any queries (Pensions Team).

4. PENSION FLEXIBILITY

The Trustees considered a joint paper from GAD and Eversheds regarding the changes in legislation affecting defined contribution schemes.  These changes extend to AVC schemes attached to defined benefit schemes.  The Trustees are minded to offer flexibility to Members with AMPS AVC savings and discussed making use of the statutory override to allow integration of the AMPS pension and AVC fund. 

The Trustees discussed the future of the AVC scheme and agreed that they would continue to offer the option of AVCs. 

A discussion took place around the current contribution limits of 15% of a Members salary.  The Trustees are minded to lift this limit and allow Members to contribute a greater proportion of their salary to AVCs subject to HMRC Annual Allowance limits.  The Trustees agreed that this issue would require further discussion and decision.

Mr Dallat left the meeting at 9:45am

Action required:

  • Wording on possible use of the statutory override to be drafted for further consideration (Eversheds);
  • Liaise with Clerical Medical regarding flexibilities (Pensions Team);
  • With regards to the limit on AVC contributions, the Trustee’s would like a paragraph stating the current scheme rule and a paragraph stating the proposed new rule (as discussed) for consideration (Pensions Team).

Mr J Dallat returned to the meeting at 9:48am

5. GAD FACTOR REVIEW

The Chairperson referred the Trustees to GAD’s briefing note ‘Review of actuarial factors’.  The Trustees discussed the discount rate and agreed to adopt the same discount rate as that used during the 2014 valuation. 

Due to time constraints the remainder of the paper was deferred to the next meeting.

Action required:

  • Item to be added to the agenda for the next meeting (Pensions Team).

6. CETV REDUCTION REGULATIONS

Item deferred to the next meeting

7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Ill Health Retirement application

The Trustees considered an ill health retirement application and supporting medical evidence.

The Trustees agreed to seek an independent medical opinion.

Action required:

  • Applicant to be informed of the referral to the Trustees occupational health specialist (Pensions Team);
  • Referral to occupational health specialist to be arranged (Pensions Team)

8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

6 October 2015.

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and reminded them that theIndependent Financial Review Panel (IFRP) would now be providing a briefing.

The Trustee meeting ended at 10:15am

The Independent Financial Review Panel (IFRP) provided a briefing to the Trustees on proposed scheme changes to the AMPS for the next mandate, this briefing ended at 10:40am.

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