Minutes of Proceedings - 31 January 2000

Present:Mr D Watson
Mr J Dallat
Mr D McClarty
Mr J Kelly

In the Chair: Mr D Watson

In Attendance: Mr T Evans, Mr J Hamilton, Mr G Ballantine & Mr D Millar

Apologies: Mr G Campbell

1. Mr Watson welcomed Mr Grant Ballantine who has taken over from Mr Sexton as the Government Actuary.

2. Minutes of 24 January meeting were accepted without change.

3. Review of Committee Stage of the Pensions Bill (27 January)

3.1 The Shadow Trustees considered the issues raised by the Finance and Personnel Committee on 27 January and agreed to recommend to the Assembly Commission the following response:

  • Article B (2)(c). Substitute for the existing sub-paragraph (c):

"(c) shall without prejudice to sub paragraph (b), cease to hold office six months after the date on which he ceases to be a member of the Assembly."

  • Article B(4) and (5). The Commission is content that the stipulated quorum of three is appropriate.
  • Article B2(7). Agree to the addition of the words "in the exercise of their functions".
  • Advised by Legislative Counsel the Commission is content that the numbers are appropriately set out in the Bill.
  • The use of the male gender throughout the Bill is in keeping with convention as set out in the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954.
  • Article 4. Propose amendments which offer Members the flexibility to opt to have only part of the period between 1 July 1998 and when the scheme is introduced count towards pension entitlements.

4. PROGRESS ON WORK PRIORITIES

4.1 The Shadow Trustees considered a revised action plan prepared by Mr Hamilton and agreed the following:

  • Grant Ballantine to progress the work required for the appointment of a fund manager. Mr Evans and Mr Hamilton to check whether EC or Government procurement guidelines will apply;
  • half day training for Shadow Trustees provisionally agreed for Friday 3 March;
  • Mr Hamilton circulated a draft explanatory guide for consideration and discussion at the next meeting; and
  • Mr Hamilton circulated the response from the Inland Revenue which confirms that the Assembly can make a retrospective application for contracted-out status. Mr Hamilton to check if the 15% (6% and 9%) contributions, which Members wishing to include service back to 1 July would have pay, would restrict their ability to purchase added years or make AVCs.

5. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

5.1 Mr Evans informed Members that Archie Cameron, Head of the Fees Office, and his team will be visiting Parliament Buildings on 7/8 February It was agreed that Mr Evans should try to set up a meeting.

6. DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

Monday 7 February at 1.00 pm in room 106.

TOM EVANS

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