Agenda item




A report of the Director of Pensions informed Board Members of the revised Pension Administration Strategy (PAS) and the intent to consult with employers as required by the Regulations upon Pension Committee approval of the proposed changes to the policy and operational practice.


It was reported that the Fund had undertaken a review of the PAS which had last been updated in 2013 to accommodate procedural changes resulting from the introduction of both the LGPS Miscellaneous Regulations 2012 and Automatic Enrolment legislation.


It was reported that the introduction of the new CARE benefit design in April 2014 and associated final salary benefit protections had compounded the increasing complexity of administering the LGPS. Consequently, the importance of data quality and the necessity for equitable allocation of Fund resources across employers was greater than ever and had informed the review of the PAS.


The primary purpose of the review was to continue progress towards a seamless pension service, employing appropriate technology and best practice to both significantly improve the quality of information and the speed with which it was processed providing a more efficient service to Fund members.


The PAS covered primary matters as outlined in the Regulations such as administration standards, performance measures and communication with employers. It also set out the key undertakings and responsibilities of both the Fund and participating employers.


Members were informed that the PAS recognised that significant work would need to be undertaken in achieving the Pension Regulator’s compliance requirements and both the Fund and its Employers would need to work in partnership to meet this challenge.


The Fund, like all public sector organisations, was under pressure to manage its costs and evaluate current operational functions. Therefore, resources must be utilised to ensure compliance with statutory duties and responsibilities as defined within the LGPS regulations and overriding Pension legislation.


The LGPS regulatory framework allowed an Administering Authority to recover costs from an employing authority where costs had been incurred because of unsatisfactory performance and also to remove cross-subsidy of costs resulting from any inequitable allocation of resources.


The PAS had been revised to clearly document an extended charging policy in circumstances of persistent failure by an employer to meet administration requirements and for the provision of additional pension entitlement calculations or bespoke administration tasks.


The report further set out the timetable for implementation and it was noted that the revised PAS would be applicable from April 2018 and a draft version was attached as an appendix to the report for consideration.


Following overview of the Board and formal approval by Pension Committee, the Fund would shortly issue this document to employers for comment and feedback as part of the statutory consultation process


The consultation period was scheduled to commence from the end of July until the end of September.  Work would then be undertaken to review the feedback and revise the strategy as required.  The final version of the strategy would then be published in November 2017 for Pension Committee approval, in preparation for its implementation in April 2018.


Resolved – That the PAS and the proposed schedule be noted and progressed as outlined in the report.

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