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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 30 January 2018

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting and welcomed Ms Dalton from the Assembly Information Standards Office, Mr Selby from Government Actuary’s Department, and Mr Burns from Deloitte.

The Chairperson handed over to Ms Dalton for a short training session.  Ms Dalton delivered training on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Chairperson handed over to Mr Burns for a short presentation.  Mr Burns delivered a presentation on how the GDPR will apply specifically to the Assembly Members Pension Scheme.

The Chairperson queried if there was any liability insurance to cover the cost of a breach of the GDPR.  Mrs Lamont agreed to look into this.

Action required:

  • Mrs Lamont to let the Trustees know if there is any insurance to cover the cost of any breach of GDPR or fines incurred.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Dalton for her participation.  Ms Dalton left the meeting at 10:35am.

The meeting continued according to the agenda.


No apologies were received.


The draft minutes of the regular meeting held on 3 October 2017, the extraordinary meeting held on 7 November 2017, and the IDRP meeting held on 9 January 2018 were agreed.

Action required:

  • Agreed minutes of the 3 October 2017 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).


Risk Register

The Chairperson advised that the Risk Register had been updated following the last meeting to include a risk around the current political situation.  A risk has also been added in respect of GDPR.  The Trustees accepted the revisions.

The Trustees discussed Trustee membership and the risk that with only three Trustees, they would fail to reach quorum should any of them become unavailable.  The Trustees agreed that this needed to be raised with the Assembly Commission.

Action required:

  • An email to be sent to Assembly Commission members detailing the current situation with Trustee membership (Pensions Team).

Conflicts of Interest

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


Update on Action Points from the last meeting

Member Newsletter

The newsletter was issued to members of the Scheme in December 2017.

Pension Fund Repositioning

Following the meeting with GAD and M&G on 7 November 2017 to discuss repositioning assets into the Episode Allocation Fund, all required actions have been carried out.

Query from Potential Scheme Beneficiary

The response drafted by Eversheds has been issued to the individual concerned.


Mrs Anderson discussed the responses received from the self-assessment questionnaire that had been re-issued to Trustees in October 2017.

Mrs Anderson asked the Trustees to contact her if there were any specific areas of training that they felt would assist them in their role or if there was anything to help prepare them ahead of the meetings.  Mrs Anderson reminded the Trustees about the Pensions Regulator Toolkit, and agreed to resend the link to the Trustees.

Mrs Anderson asked the Trustees if they would like to complete the questionnaire again at a later stage.  It was agreed that this would be revisited when new Trustees had been appointed.

Action required:

  • The link to the Pensions Regulator Toolkit to be reissued to the Trustees (Pensions Team).


The Chairperson handed over to Mr Selby to discuss his revised paper.

Mr Selby reminded the Trustees that at the meeting in October 2017 they had discussed using some or all of the surplus in the Scheme to manage the consolidated fund contribution, but had held off on making a decision until GAD had provided an updated report.

Mr Selby advised that this updated report considered the impact of updating the mortality assumptions, which have been taken from the 2016 NHS valuation, and the latest projections published by the ONS.

Mr Selby discussed possible options for using the Scheme’s surplus to reduce the contribution rate payable by the consolidated Fund.  The Trustees discussed the options set out by Mr Selby and agreed that the existing Consolidated Fund contribution rate of 14.4% of pay should be maintained.  This would remove the surplus in the Scheme over a period of 25 years.  It was agreed that this could be revisited in three years at the next valuation.

Mr Selby made the Trustees aware of two cases of age discrimination that had been taken regarding transitional protection in pension schemes.  He advised that the government had lost both cases, but assumed that there would be an appeal.  Mr Selby highlighted this as a potential risk to the Assembly Members Pension Scheme, but agreed to keep the Trustees updated.

Mr Selby asked the Trustees to consider the value in receiving an annual update on the funding position, which GAD provide for some private firms but don’t currently do for this scheme.  The Trustees discussed this and agreed that they would like to receive an annual report.

Action required:

  • GAD to provide an annual update to the Trustees on the funding position of the scheme.


The Chairperson reminded the Trustees that it had been agreed at the last meeting that the Pensions Team would carry out a scoping exercise to assess the potential cost of carrying out a full procurement exercise as the initial period of this contract expires in November 2018.

The Trustees discussed whether to extend the contract or carry out a full procurement exercise.  It was agreed that the contract would be extended for a period of two years.

Action required:

  • Letter to be drafted to issue to M&G in due course to extend the contract (Pensions Team).


The Chairperson informed the Trustees that the Annual Report and Accounts for 2016-17 had been issued to all Scheme members in December 2017.  The Northern Ireland Audit Office report on the accounts was included in the meeting pack.  The Trustees had no comments on the audit report.


The Chairperson asked if the Trustees had any comments on the GAD quarterly summary for Quarter 3 July – September 2017, which had been included in the meeting pack.  The Trustees explained that the information was difficult to read, and Mrs Anderson agreed to email a copy of the summary to the Trustees.

Action required:

  • A copy of the GAD quarterly summary for Quarter 3, July – September 2017 to be emailed to the Trustees (Pensions Team).


The Chairperson expressed condolences to the family of Mrs Pat O’Rawe, a former member, who had died in December 2017.

The Trustees ratified 3 new pensions.


The Trustees agreed that they would like to meet again in a month to discuss further the implications of GDPR on the Assembly Members Pension Scheme.

Meeting to be arranged for Tuesday 27 February 2018 @ 9:30am

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting today.

The Trustee meeting ended at 11:40am

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