Meeting of the Pension Trustees held on 03 February 2009
Mr D McClarty
Mr J Dallat
Mr Jim Wells
Mr T Lunn
Mrs M O’Neill
In the Chair:
Mr D McClarty
Mr E Hobson (NIA),
Mrs L Anderson (NIA)
1. INVESTMENT MANAGER UPDATE
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that Mr Spooner from M&G Pooled Pensions is unable to attend today’s meeting as planned due to the severe weather in the South of England. A further date will be arranged for a briefing on the performance of the fund and to discuss the Investment Strategy in light of the current financial climate.
- Pensions Admin to contact Mr Spooner to arrange an alternative briefing
2. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS TRUSTEES MEETINGS
The minutes of the Trustees meeting held on 16 September 08 and the extraordinary meeting held on 18 November 08 were agreed.
- Pensions Admin to upload minutes of 16 September 08 to website
3. MATTERS ARISING
Challenge to the Scheme
Following the extraordinary meeting held on 18 November 08, a stage 1 response under the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure has been issued. Further information relating to pension calculations was requested and supplied to the member.
Correspondence has been received from the Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the complaint of maladministration. Eversheds will respond on behalf of the Trustees. A paper is to be drafted to the Commission outlining the proposed course of action.
- Pensions Administration team to draft a paper to the Commission outlining the proposed course of action
- Eversheds to respond to the Pensions Ombudsman
Administrative Support to the Trustees
The Pensions Administration section commissioned a review of the current administration service provided to the Trustees. This review has been completed by the Assembly’s Research Office. The Pensions Administration section will liaise with Legal Services and Internal Audit to bring the review forward and make recommendations to the Trustees and the Commission on future provision.
- Pensions Administration section to liaise with Legal Services and Internal Audit to bring forward the review
Increased Accrual Rate
The Trustees previously discussed and agreed proposing an increase in the accrual rate from 1/50 th to 1/40 th of final pensionable salary for each year of service. Further information had been requested from the Scheme Actuary. The trustees discussed a paper from GAD, indicating that in order to provide this option to members on a cost neutral basis, members contributions would increase from 6% to 11.5% of salary. A paper is to be drafted for the Commission recommending this option be adopted on an ‘opt-out’ basis effective from 1 April 2009.
Action Required :
- Pensions Administration section to draft a paper to the Commission outlining the Trustees recommendations and including the actuarial advice.
AMPS Annual Report and Accounts
The AMPS Annual Report and Accounts for 2007-08 has been laid before the Assembly and distributed to all Scheme members in October 2008.
4. CASH EQUIVALENT TRANSFER VALUES
The Trustees considered a paper received from the Actuary detailing legislative changes in relation to the calculation of transfers out of the Scheme. Mr Hobson outlined the background to the paper and emphasised the responsibility of the Trustees in determining assumptions used in calculating transfer values. In order to give the Trustees additional time to consider the Actuary’s paper it was agreed that the Pensions Admin section would contact the Trustees in one week to confirm that the recommendations of the Actuary are to be accepted.
- Pensions Admin section to contact the Trustees on 10 th February 09
5. AMPS TRIENNIAL VALUATION – DRAFT REPORT
The Trustees considered the draft report of the Actuary which contains a recommendation to increase the employee contribution from 22.6% to 23.3% with effect from 1 April 2009. A paper outlining the Actuary’s recommendations will be prepared for submission to the Commission.
- Pensions Admin section to draft submission to the Commission
6. RISK REGISTER
The Trustees considered the revised and updated Risk Register and agreed to respond to the Pensions Admin section with comments.
7. INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
The Trustees considered the AMPS Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure in light of 2008 changes to regulations. The Trustees discussed amending the Scheme to a single stage process but elected to retain the current two stage process.
8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Payment of Pensions
The Trustees approved the payment of pensions to Mr George Ennis and Mr Eugene McMenamin.
The Trustees were informed that the tender for audit services has closed.
Contract for Outsourced Services
The Trustees discussed the contract for outsourced services with SPPA which expires on 31 March 2009. In light of the current review of the administration service the Trustees agreed to extend the contract with SPPA for one year.
- Head of Personnel to write to SPPA to extend the contract for outsourced services until 31 March 2010.
The Trustees discussed the provision of refresher training to satisfy the Pension Regulators knowledge and understanding requirements. It was agreed that the Trustees would attend formal training before the end of the year.
- Pensions Admin section to liaise with Trustees and organise training as agreed.