Minutes of Proceedings - 07 February 2000

Present:Mr D Watson
Mr D McClarty
Mr J Kelly

In the Chair:Mr D Watson

In Attendance:Mr D Millar, Mr J Hamilton, Mr T Evans & Mr E Hobson

Apologies:Mr G Campbell
Mr J Dallat

1. MINUTES OF THE SIXTH MEETING

Minutes of the sixth meeting on 31 January 2000 were accepted without change.

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2.MATTERS ARISING

Mr Hamilton confirmed that the Inland Revenue are considering whether 15% contributions, paid by Members wishing to include service back to 1 July, would restrict their ability to purchase added years or make AVCs.

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3.COMMITTEE STAGE OF THE PENSIONS BILL (3 FEBRUARY 2000)

3.1 Mr Evans circulated a minute from the Clerk of the Finance and Personnel Committee detailing a number of issues raised by the Committee at its meeting with representatives of the Commission on 3 February 2000, which will be discussed at its upcoming meeting.

3.2 It was agreed that the Committee should be advised of the reasons why partners have not been included in the scheme ie the Assembly scheme has been modelled on the Westminster scheme.

3.3 Mr Watson informed Members that the Finance and Personnel Committee was seeking independent actutahoma advice on the Pensions Bill.

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4. APPOINTMENT OF FUND MANAGER

4.1 Mr Hamilton informed the meeting that following the last meeting of the Shadow Trustees, Grant Ballentine (GAD) has met with Tom Gilgunn from the Government Purchasing Agency to discuss the content of the proposed advertisement for the recruitment of a Fund Manager. Mr Gilgunn has offered the services of GPA during any tendering process.

4.2 Mr Hamilton reported that Mr Gilgunn has advised that the tendering process could be shortened by shortlisting at the initial application stage.

4.3 It was agreed that the shortlisting panel should comprise Mr Watson, Mr Ballentine, Mr Evans, Mr Hamilton and a representative from GPA.

4.4 GPA has confirmed that it will not be necessary to advertise EU wide for the position of Fund Manager.

4.5 Mr Evans advised that the appointment of Fund Manager should not be made until the Pension scheme is in place but that all necessary preparatory work can be taken forward.

4.6 Mr Hamilton raised the matter of the need for an AVC provider and confirmed that a full tender process would not need to take place. It would be sufficient to identify a small number of AVC providers who would be invited to tender. The applicants could then be shortlisted and, if necessary, interviewed by the Trustees.

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5. DRAFT EXPLANATORY GUIDE FOR MEMBERS

It was agreed that Mr Hamilton should prepare a short information note for Members based on the explanatory guide tabled at the meeting.

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6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

6.1 Concern was raised by the Trustees about what might happen with regard to the payment of 9% arrears should the Assembly be suspended for a lengthy period of time. It was suggested that the only way forward was to consider extending the "pay back" period beyond the 12 months originally envisaged.

6.2 Concern was also raised about what might happen should an Assembly Member die before the scheme was in place. The Trustees agreed to monitor the situation.

6.3 The Trustees discussed the content of the Action Plan prepared by Mr Hamilton and agreed that it should be updated and used as the Trustees development plan.

6.4 Members were invited to meet with Archie Cameron, head of the Fees Office at Westminster, during his visit on 8 February.

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7. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Shadow Trustees should take place on Monday 14 February at 1.00 pm in room 106. This however would be subject to developments.

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EVAN HOBSON
Room 429
Ext: 21597

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