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MINUTES OF THE EIGHTEENTH MEETING OF THE PENSION TRUSTEES HELD ON MONDAY 12TH MAY 2003
1. Minutes of meeting of 2 April
IN THE CHAIR: Mr D Watson
IN ATTENDANCE: Mr T Evans, Mr E Hobson, Mrs K McCartney, Mr R McNeilly
LETTER TO RLAM
Mr Hobson confirmed that a letter had been sent to RLAM requesting further information, following the meeting held on 2 April 2003, and that we are awaiting their response.
Mr Evans confirmed that the Secretary of State had made a Determination that pension benefits for MLA's would accrue against a salary of £ 41,000 per annum. He reported that in the event of a shortfall, i.e. due to under performance of the Fund, pension benefits would be covered from the Consolidated fund.
Mr Evans advised that the Personnel Office would seek further clarification and provide a briefing note to the Trustees to confirm the position should a Member die during dissolution or wish to retire due to ill health. The Personnel Office will also clarify if death in service benefits would be based on £ 41,000 and the implications of suspension on Office Holders pension.
APPOINTMENT OF SCHEME ADVISORS
Mr Hobson reported that the Welsh Assembly were happy to meet with the Trustees and discuss the possibility and for practicalities of appointing "Joint Scheme Advisors". The Scottish Parliament has not replied yet but that the Personnel Office would chase this up.
REGULARITY OF ACTUARIAL VALUATIONS
Following Price Waterhouse Coopers suggestion for a more regular valuation of the scheme, e.g. Annual, the Personnel Office will seek a response from Government Actuary. This will be addressed at the next meeting.
Mr Hobson confirmed that Government Actuary are in the process of clarifying the valuation method used for the Scheme valuation.
BANK ACCOUNT OPTIONS
The Trustees discussed the account options available to hold the funds accumulated pending possible retirements over the election period. It was decided to carry this issue forward to the next meeting when political events would be clearer.
A report from Government Actuary was circulated. Mr Hobson confirmed that the Personnel Office are seeking clarification from Legal Services regarding legal obstacles. Mr Evans stated that he would also seek advice from the Secretary of State's office to find out if they would be willing to formally discuss the possibility of an amalgamation. This is an ongoing issue and will be addressed at future meetings.
Mr McClarty excused himself from the meeting at this point.
The RLAM contract is due for renewal next March. Price Waterhouse Coopers have recommended revisiting the investment principals in September and have offered assistance. Mr Evans stated that he would also take advice from Archie Cameron.
A draft checklist of Trustee responsibilities was circulated. The Trustees were content with the checklist and requested a report at every meeting.
The Trustees agreed that an attendance record should be kept.
The Trustees agreed to purchase one set of:
The Pension Trustee's handbook
The role of the Pension Fund Trustee
So now you are a Trustee- what you need to know.
The Government Actuary's report examining the rules governing AVCs will be brought forward to the next meeting.
ACCESS TO PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Evans will clarify the position regarding the Trustees' access to Parliament Buildings for Trustee meetings.
Mr Evans confirmed that the Personnel Office will shortly issue a minute to the Trustees requesting that the Trustees submit claims for any expenses incurred attending Trustee meetings.
The next meeting will be held on Monday 9 June at 11.00.
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