Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 05 November 2020

83rd Meeting of the Pension Trustees held on
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 10:00am, via Microsoft Teams



The Chairperson apologised for nonattendance at the previous meeting and any inconvenience caused by the postponement.

It was noted that Mr Kevin Humpherson was unable to attend the rescheduled meeting due to a prior appointment.



The draft minutes of the meeting held on 30th July 2020 were agreed.

Action required:
  • Agreed minutes of the 30th July 2020 meeting to be uploaded to the Assembly website (Pensions Team).




The Chairperson reminded the Trustees that he is a member of the AVC arrangement with Clerical Medical.



The Chairperson noted the numerous points brought forward



The chair referred the trustees to the risk register, and the Trustees confirmed that no further changes were required at this time.



The Chairperson noted the inclusion of M&G’s quarterly report for the period to June 2020 in the meeting pack.



The Chairperson noted the UK equity and long dated corporate bond was performing well with a decline in performance in all other areas and then handed over to Mr Maclaren for an update on the quarterly investment review for the period ending 30 June 2020.

Mr Maclaren presented a summary of the investment performance, which was not as bad as expected and the overall performance of the fund had increased. It was noted, that since the report was prepared the markets have deteriorated following the second wave of COVID-19 and the US elections.



P McClintock informed the trustees that Kevin Humpherson could not join the meeting but will have a call with him after the meeting and update the trustees.

Action required:
  • Report to trustees with update. .



The chair noted the need for a balance between responsibility of trustees to maintain an adequate investment return for future pensioners and the desires of members to move to a more responsible and ethical investment

Action required:
  • Defer any decision on ethical investment until the appointment of the new investment manager
  • P McClintock to investigate possibility of RaISe doing a study on Scottish and Irish institutions regarding ethical investments.



Chairperson requested a holding reply to Rachel Woods with an update that we still want to keep this issue under constant review and it will be one of the main factors in deciding the new investment manager

Roy Beggs joined the meeting at 11.40

Action required:
  • Email to be sent to Miss Woods with an update



P McC noted that the accounts were close to completion with a few outstanding issues with the auditors and will be certified with no qualification.  All minor points from last year were reviewed and they are content that they have been dealt with.



Chair reviewed timetable and noted that the delay in providing data to GAD was not helped by the sudden departure of the Pensions Manager.

PMCC gave commitment to get the data to GAD by end October but due to resources it had been delayed.  Hope to speak to Manoj to go through what GAD needs to allow them to start checking the data.

SB noted if GAD received the data by end November the timetable moves forward 3 months

To date we have not provided any trustee training valuation or introduction for new trustees, this has to be arranged in advance of April 21

Action required:
  • Valuation data to be provided to GAD (Pensions Team)
  • Valuation timetable to be updated (GAD)
  • Valuation training to be provided (GAD)



PMCC noted that the historical data and said it is WIP.

NB noted the outstanding issues on getting Deloitte database as complete and accurate as possible to allow Deloitte to report to the Trustees and confirm how complete and accurate the data is on common and conditional basis.

PMCC has prioritised working on the information for Deloitte regarding the Annual Benefit Statements and the data that needs to go to GAD for the triennial valuation

Once complete will address the historical issues as the data is quite old, going back to 1998 and the data is held on microfiche.

Manoj noted in relation to the GMP t/f in there were 8 cases between 2000 -2005, and these may not have been treated correctly.



CA left the meeting at 11.20 am and was not present for this policy.

The Trustees reviewed the Overpayment Policy drafted by Eversheds.

The chair, PC and AM is in agreement with the policy and if we could get response from CA and RB after the meeting, we would adopt the policy if there are no objections and review in one years time.

Action required:
  • Contact Dr Archibald and Mr Beggs Draft overpayment policy to be included in the pack for the next meeting (Pensions Team)



SB noted the IFRP is not yet setup and they have a role in determining what the McCloud remedy is.

Issue for us is we have a provision within our scheme that all members go into care scheme in 2021. The Chair noted that members don’t agree with that and as the new members caught in that scheme want to stay in the scheme until 2022, same as other public sector.

SB noted that it is up to the new IFRP as to how they implement a McCloud remedy, if they choose to leave it until 2022 to be in line with other public sector schemes.  In order to delay things until 2022 you need to change the existing rules creating another hurdle to meet in the next 5-6 months.

Chair declared his interest in the McCloud outcome.

PMcC noted that any changes to the scheme falls to the scope of the new panel. The Panel would take into consideration the results of the consultation of the wider public sector but the panel would not be up and running before 2022.  Chair agreed that it is unlikely new panel would be setup before 1st April 2021

Action required:
  • Share link to webinar with Trustees. (Pensions Team)



Neil Burns was asked to leave the meeting 11.40

The Chairperson noted the Trustees are currently without adequate administrative support to enable them to fulfil their statutory duties.

Mrs McClintock had investigated the possibility of varying the existing administrative contract the Trustees have with Deloitte, which is due for renewal in 2022. This would provide a full administrative service at an additional cost to the scheme of £15,661 (plus VAT) per annum by a team of pension professionals.  It was noted that this proposal did not include the payroll administration services or the cash management as these are currently provided by the Commission and are undertaken by other members of the Finance Office as part of their ongoing monthly duties.

Mr Catney agreed that we should retain the payroll administration services and cash management within the finance office and he proposed that we proceed with the variation of Deloitte’s existing contract, Mr Muir and Mr Beggs agreed.

The Chairperson confirmed outsourcing the full administration of the pension scheme to Deloitte with immediate effect.  Mrs McClintock to contact Deloitte and finalise the contract.

Mr Maclaren (GAD) noted that he had no objections knowing the contract is due for renewal in less than 18 months

PMcC agreed that it is appropriate to go to the market upon renewal for full administration

Action required:
  • Finalise the contract variation with Deloitte to expand the existing contract.  (PMCC to meet Deloitte)



It was agreed that the next meeting would be held some Thursday morning in January 2021.  (To be arranged by secretariat)

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending the meeting today.

The Trustees’ meeting ended at 12.02 pm.