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MINUTES OF THE SIXTH MEETING OF THE PENSION TRUSTEES
1. Minutes of the fourth and fifth meetings
IN THE CHAIR:
1. Minutes of the fourth and fifth meetings were accepted.
2.1 Visit to Westminster
Mr Evans informed the Trustees that he is awaiting confirmation about a suitable date for the visit.
2.2 Pension Scheme Booklet
Trustees complimented the format and content of the booklet. Trustees agreed that a standard format should be adopted for publishing purposes and for inclusion in the Members' Handbook.
Trustees endorsed Mr Carrick's proposal to include in the section on AVCs and the purchase of added years reference to the need to seek independent advice before taking a decision on additional contributions.
2.3 Arrears of NI Contributions
Mr Hobson agreed to investigate why some Members did not receive application forms in respect of overpaid NI contributions and provide an update at the next meeting.
2.4 Transfers In
Trustees asked that MLAs are reminded via the e-mail and All Party Notice about the deadline for transferring existing pension benefits to the Assembly Members' Scheme.
2.5 Pension Scheme Insurance
Trustees reviewed quotes from four companies to provide insurance cover for the scheme. It was agreed that insurance cover is required and that each company should be asked for a revised quote for all Members up to the age of 75 years. Mr Hobson to obtain quotes and bring to the next meeting.
2.6 Administration Issues
Mr Hobson provided an update on the financial standing of the fund. Trustees agreed to transfer the money presently held in the consolidated fund to the new Fund Manager, Royal London Asset Management (RLAM).
Trustees agreed that the Fund Manager should make a presentation on performance of the fund at regular intervals throughout the financial year.
Mr Hobson informed Trustees that his team are due to meet with the Fund Manager on Monday 2 April by which time he expected the transfer of existing funds to have taken place. He will report back at the next meeting.
4. APPOINTMENT OF PENSION CONSULTANT
4.1 Trustees reviewed and cleared the draft specification for the appointment of a Pension Consultant. Mr Evans informed Trustees that there are three companies in Northern Ireland with the necessary in-house expertise.
4.2 Mr Evans informed Trustees that he had taken advice from Lynn Garvie (Scottish Head of Procurement) who had advised that the specification should include a total of 12 - 15 consultant days. Mr Evans and Mr Hobson to put together the selection criteria for the next meeting.
5. APPOINTMENT OF AVC PROVIDER
5.1 Mr Hobson provided a draft specification for the appointment of an AVC provider. Trustees, in adopting the specification, emphasised the need to secure the services of a pension consultant and AVC provider as soon as possible. Mr Hobson to provide a progress update at the next meeting.
6.1 Trustees Bill
The Chairman informed Trustees that the Trustee's Bill had reached second stage. Mr Evans agreed to take advice from the Assembly's legal advisers on compliance issues and report back at the next meeting.
6.2 Old Assembly Pension Fund
6.3 Mr Hobson is to clarify the issues surrounding the transfer of the old Assembly Pension Fund and report back at the next meeting.
6.3 Administration of Pension Scheme
Mr Hobson advised Trustees of the option to contract out the payment element of the administration of the scheme to the London based Capita firm who had recently secured a similar contact with the House of Commons. Mr Hobson to explore the costs for the next meeting.
6.4 Article in Pension Magazine
The Chairman informed Trustees of a recent article which appeared in the Professional pension magazine announcing the appointment of a fund manager for the NI Assembly Members' Pension Scheme. Mr Watson informed Trustees that the content of the article had not been sanctioned by the Trustees and that it was both inaccurate and totally inappropriate. The Chairman informed Trustees that an apology had been given on their behalf to the Members cited in the article.
7.1 Members agreed that the next meeting would take place following the Easter Recess.
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