Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4AX

Contact: Paul Frost  Email: Paul.Frost@Barnet.gov.uk - 0208 359 2205

Note: Two paper copies of the agenda only will be available at the meeting for members of the public. Attendees are requested to view the agenda online and if needed, to print any specific agenda report(s). 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB

    Minutes:

    Prior to the minutes being approved it was noted that Councillor Peter Zinkin was in attendance and therefore the minutes from the last meeting reflect this.

     

     

    Resolved:

    - That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 May 2019 were approved as an accurate record

2.

Absence of Members

    Minutes:

     There were no apologies of absence.

     

    The Chairman, Coucnillor Mark Shooter noted that Mr James Kennedy from Middlesex University had taken on a new role as acting Vice-Chairman.   Councillor Shooter on behalf of the Committee wished Mr Kennedy well and thanked him for his contribution on the Pension Fund Committee.

     

3.

Disclosable Pecuniary interests and Non Pecuniary interests

    Minutes:

    Councillor John Marshall declared a non-pecuniary Interest by virtue of being beneficiary of LGP Scheme and/or having shareholdings in a number of companies that the fund had invested in.

     

    Councillor John Marshall declared a pecuniary interest in relation to item 12.  He stated that he has a holding in Prudential and therefore he withdrew from the meeting during the item.  Councillor Marshal did not take part in the consideration or decision-making process.

     

     

4.

Public Question and Comments (if any)

    Minutes:

    Mr Ben Samuel was in attendance and made a public comment in relation to item 10 on the agenda.   His comments were in relation climate change.   The Chairman said that the Committee were also very concerned of climate change and he therefore thanked Mr Samuel for his attendance and his comments.  Councillor Shooter added that the Committee had a strong weight on social and environment standing and he shared the views of Mr Samuel.   Councillor Alison Moore reminded the Committee that in a previous meeting the Committee consider it’s ethical arrangements.  Councillor Danny Rich thanked Mr Samuel and his important reminder of climate change.    

     

    Resolved

    -          That Mr Ben Samuel’s public comments be noted

    -          That the Chairman requested that Hymans Roberson report at a future meeting on the social, ethical and responsible investment options.  The Committee duly agreed. 

     

5.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (if any)

6.

Members' Items (if any) pdf icon PDF 190 KB

    Minutes:

    The Chairman requested that Councillor Alison Moore introduce her Members Items which she duly did.   Councillor Moore outlined that there had been a repetition of unsatisfactory reports, reviews, data and although there had been some improvement the Pension’s Regulator had been required to intervene.  Councillor Moore stated that there had been cause to request a change of the administration of the Pension Fund and noted that she had requested that the service become an in house model.   She added the it was a requirement that key deadlines be met which had been an ongoing concern.  She therefore requested that the Policy and Resources Committee receive an option papers and noted that the Committee had the power to review the position and make decisions for the benefit of the Council’s Pension administrating function.  

     

    Councillor John Marshall requested that an update from the Director of Finance be provided so that the deadline of 31 August 2019 was met.  Councillor Danny Rich noted the importance of the item and outlined his support for Councillor Moore’s Members Item.  He added that he had observed many concerns and frustrations and therefore he expected that options be considered to administer processes correctly. 

     

    The Director for Finance, Ms Darr noted that as a Member of the Local Government Pension Scheme she shared the Committee’s concerns and made the following points:

    -          That Capita were aware of the Council’s concerns and the choices that were available to the Council

    -          That the Council were monitoring progress against the Pensions Regulator’s minimum requirements for improvements to be made by the provider

    -          That the Council were observing the work performed by Caption in order for the annual benefit statement deadline of 31 August 2019 be met.

    -          She added that the Council were holding weekly meetings in order to track progress and receive updates

    -          That a plan was in place to deliver a good service beyond 31 August 2019 and not just stop at the minimum improvements required.

     

     

    Councillor Moore gave her appreciation for the update, however she said that Members should be able to deliver a comprehensive scrutiny role and therefore she believed it was necessary that a range of options were required to exercise strong Governance arrangements.    She confirmed that it was crucial that the Pension Fund Committee request that the Policy and Resource Committee is provided with a detailed options paper on alternative delivery options at the next meeting of that Committee.  She added that it was necessary to exercise a proper challenge and scrutiny role and the Council need to understand what the wider options are so that the Pension Fund Committee are delivering a sound governance judgement. 

     

    The Chairman outlined that the Council were in contract with Capita and noted that the Pension Fund Committee didn’t have the power to choose or make a decision on the administrating provider.    Councillor Alison Moore noted that it was important that the Pension Fund Committee request that the Policy and Recourse Committee receive an appropriate report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Annual Accounts and Audit Report pdf icon PDF 153 KB

8.

Internal Audit Report pdf icon PDF 154 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Head of Treasury and Pension, Mr George Bruce introduced the report.   He outlined that Barnet’s Internal Audit had undertaken a review of the Pension Fund focusing on finance and investments.  He noted that this was included in appendix A.

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

    Resolved:

    -          That the Pension Fund Committee noted the Internal Audit report.

    -          That a risk register be reported to a future meeting

9.

Triennial Actuarial Valuation Update pdf icon PDF 149 KB

    Minutes:

    The Scheme Actuary, Mrs Gemma Sefton of Hymans Robertson introduced verbally the report concerning the progress of the triennial valuation to determine the funding position of the pension scheme and rate of contributions paid by employers.  In particular, she discussed the submission of the required data; membership, cashflows and employers listing. She noted that the deadline for submission of data was 31 July 2019 for the transfer of membership data to the Actuary.   Initial submissions had indicated a substantial reduction in critical errors but all three data elements were required to be able to determine whether the data was fit to be used in the triennial valuation.

     

    Mrs James Kennedy from Middlesex University requested that Middlesex University be allowed to defer any changes to the stat of their financial year.   Officers agreed that this will be acceptable.  Mrs Sefton provided detail in respect to the time table that was being worked towards.

     

    During the debate it was noted that there was a high volume of work required in order to process the valuation of data and therefore resources were required for completion. 

     

    The Chairman thanks Mrs Gemma Seftonfor her contribution.

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

     

    Resolved:

    That the Pension Fund Committee noted the Actuary’s comments on data

    quality.

     

10.

Investment Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 164 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Head of Treasury and Pension, Mr George Bruce introduced the report.    He noted that at the June presentations  the Pension Fund Committee present had expressed a preference to allocating the agreed Private Equity allocation  of 5% (circa £55 million) to  Adams Street 2019 Global Fund.  Hymans Robertson tabled a report to support the selection of Adams Street.

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

     

    Resolved:

     

    ·       That the Committee agreed to commit £55 million to Adams Streets 2019 Global Fund.

    ·       That the Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Finance Director to take actions to implement recommendations 1.

    ·       That the exempt information be noted

     

11.

Quarterly Investment Performance Report pdf icon PDF 221 KB

    Minutes:

    A Verbal update was made by Mr Matt Woodman from Hymans Robertson in relation to the performance quarter to 30 June 2019.  Members were informed that the market may experience volatility in the coming months due to Brexit.  It was noted that a risk-based analysis be presented to the next meeting.

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

    Resolved

    ·       The Committee note the investment values as at 30 June 2019 and the activity in the quarter.

    ·       That the Committee noted that a risk-based analysis be presented to the next meeting

     

12.

AVC review pdf icon PDF 161 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Prior to the consideration of this item Councillor John Marshal withdrew from the meeting as he earlier made a pecuniary interest declaration. 

     

    The Head of Treasury and Pension, Mr George Bruce introduced the report.    He stated that over 200 members of the Barnet Pension Fund are accumulating additional savings through AVC’s with Prudential.  Members noted that the provider had closed some of its ‘lifestyle’ options and this has required a review of alternatives. In reviewing alternatives and the overall

     

    Prudential service, Hymans have concluded that Prudential continue to be a suitable AVC provider.

     

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

    Resolved

     

    -          To note Hymans Robertson’s conclusion that Prudential continue to be a suitable provider of AVC products and that a bespoke lifestyle option that has been selected for Barnet’s scheme members.

    -          That the exempt information be noted

     

     

13.

The Pension Regulator pdf icon PDF 206 KB

14.

Annual Benefit Statements pdf icon PDF 207 KB

    Minutes:

    The Interim Pensions Manager Mr Nigel Keogh introduced the report. He outlined that the Annual Benefit statements must be issued to active and deferred scheme members by 31 August. The paper discusses Capita’s plan to meet the statutory deadline.

     

     

    Having considered the report the Committee :

    Resolved

    ·       That the Pension Fund Committee note that robust plans are in place to ensure that Barnet Pension Fund members receive an accurate ABS by the statutory deadline which is 31 August.

     

     

15.

Admission Agreements, Cessations and Bonds pdf icon PDF 241 KB

    Minutes:

    The Interim Pensions Manager Mr Nigel Keogh introduced the report.

    Councillor Alison Moore said that she was pleased to see that there was progress however she noted that that there is a long-standing backlog of issues.  The Director of Finance said that issues were prioritised depending of the value.  This was noted.

     

    The Committee noted that Churchill Catering (Queenswell School) was incorrectly listed in the table at section 1.2 of the report.

     

    During the consideration and debate it was requested that the value of individual outstanding bonds be reported to Members. 

     

    Having considered the report the Committee:

     

    Resolved:

    That the Pension Fund Committee note the progress on outstanding admitted body and bond agreements, including bond renewals and cessation calculations.

     

16.

Any item(s) that the Chairman decides is urgent