Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 31 March 2022

Meeting of the NIAMPS Trustee Board
held via MS Teams on Thursday 31 March 2022 at 9:30am


Mr J Wells MLA (Chair)
Dr C Archibald MLA
Mr P Catney MLA
Mr R Beggs MLA
Mr S Dickson MLA                                                              

In attendance:  Mr J McIlroy (NIA), Ms S Bell, Mr M Pekacar, Mr C Ward (GAD), Mr A Crowe (Scheme Secretary), Mr N Burns, Mr K Humpherson and Mr S Galbraith (Deloitte).


1.1 Apologies – Mrs P McClintock (NIA).

1.2  Conflicts of interest – None noted.

1.3  Minutes of the Meeting on 16 December 2021 – Approved.

1.4  Matters arising:

1.4.1 Benefit Statements

Mr Burns advised that benefit statements had now been issued to all members.

1.4.2    Pension decisions impacted by the absence of the IFRP

The Secretary reminded Trustees of the pension matters currently held-up by the absence of the IFRP (specifically, the implementation of the McCloud remedy and rule change following the Brewster judgement), and that a letter to the Commission had been drafted to communicate the Trustees concerns.

Action: The Secretary to confirm the status of the Trustee letter to the Commission and the expected next steps.

1.4.3    Actuarial factor review

Ms Bell noted that GAD had finalised their work and had issued details of the new actuarial factors and the transitional arrangements in January.

1.4.4    Pensioner existence exercise

Mr Burns noted that all pensioners had now been traced and the exercise had been completed.

1.4.5    Administration update

Mr Burns advised Trustees that the administration team were currently working on the calculation of pension increases, which would be applied from April 2022. He also noted that a high number of member pension queries had been received recently and these were being managed effectively.

1.5  Items from the Chair

1.5.1    Christopher Stalford

The Chair advised that the Death in Service entitlement had been calculated by the Deloitte administration team and noted that this had recently been paid to Mr Stalford’s widow.

The value of a spouse’s pension and dependents pension had also been determined and would be paid once the relevant documentation had been received from Mrs Stalford.

Action: Mrs McClintock (NIA) to communicate with Mrs Stalford to obtain the documentation required to finalise payment of the spouse’s and dependents pension.

Action: Noting that certain documentation was required before the pension could be paid, Mr Burns to provide Mrs Stalford with information on the value of the pension she could expect to receive.


2.1 For noting



3.1 Investment Manager Procurement Report

The Chair provided Trustees with an update on the recent investment manager selection process, noting that it had been a comprehensive exercise and effective in identifying the most suitable manager for the NIAMPS. He continued that the successful manager – Aberdeen – had demonstrated a bespoke offering which had been tailored to the needs of the NIAMPS. The decision by the Trustee Sub-Committee had been unanimous in favour of Aberdeen, and the Chair recommended that this decision was formally approved by the Trustee Board.

Agreed: by the Trustees to formally appoint Aberdeen as the new investment manager for NIAMPS.

Mr Galbraith noted the next steps for appointing Aberdeen as being: a legal review of contract documents; signing of the contract documents by the Trustees and submitting these to Aberdeen; and, 3 - 6 month transition of assets from M&G to Aberdeen.

Action: the Secretary to contact the NIAMPS legal advisor, Eversheds, to request that they would undertake a contract review.

Action: subject to satisfactory legal review, Mrs McClintock to obtain Trustee signatures on the Aberdeen contract.

It was noted by Mr Ward that he would be available to assist in monitoring the transition process.

3.2 Performance of Investment Manager – Q4 2021

Ms Bell introduced Mr Ward as the new investment consultant at GAD who would be assisting with NIAMPS.

Mr Ward outlined key themes from the Q4 Report, noting the positive return of 3.4% during the period. He continued to provide an update on investment performance in the current year, specifically the market volatility in Q1 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He noted that the NIAMPS had a small exposure to Russian investments through a holding in an Emerging Markets index.

The Chair asked for clarity on the situation with Russian investments and Mr Ward confirmed that there was a small exposure which had been written down to nil value, however, it was not currently possible to remove this due to the inability to trade Russian assets at present. The Chair requested that the any assets linked to Russia should be removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

Action: Mr Ward would ensure that the NIAMPS investment manager was clear on the request to remove Russian assets from the NIAMPS portfolio as soon as possible. 

Mr Ward further advised that although short-term inflation was an issue, there had not yet been a significant change in the long-term inflation rates. He also noted that to date increasing energy prices had not adversely impacted equity funds, although this could change if high prices remained over a long period.

Finally, Mr Ward outlined that he hoped that improvements in investment reporting would be achieved through the transition to Aberdeen which would enable GAD to have greater focus on manager due diligence and investment strategy.

3.3 Proposed work schedule 2022/23

Ms Bell introduced Mr Pekacar as a member of the GAD actuarial team. Mr Pekacar advised that the most significant piece of actuarial work in 2022/23 would be the triennial valuation as at 31 March 2023, with preparation for the valuation beginning toward the end of this calendar year.


4.1 Ill-Health Retirements

Noted that there were no further cases to discuss at present.




The Chair advised Trustees that this would be his last Meeting as a NIAMPS Trustee. The Trustees thanked the Chair for his contribution to NIAMPS and wished him well for the future.

The next NIAMPS Trustee Meeting is scheduled for 23 June 2022 subject to availability of the Trustees and Assembly staff.