MINUTES OF THE TWENTY SECOND MEETING OF THE PENSION
1. Minutes of meeting of 9 December
PRESENT: Mr D Watson
IN ATTENDANCE: Mr G Ballantine (Government Actuary’s Department), Mr T Evans, Mr E Hobson, Mrs K McCartney, and Mr N Burns
The Trustees were provided with the response from RLAM relating to GAD’s mini valuation covering the period up to 31 March 2003. It was noted that there was a slight improvement however the Trustees stressed that this improvement should only be viewed in the context of poor performance for the previous year.
PENSION SHARING ON DIVORCE
Mr Ballantine informed the Trustees of legislation that was introduced in December 2000 relating to the divorce of married couples. Following discussions on whether our scheme should be amended to accommodate the legislation Mr Ballantine informed the Trustees that as the legislation overrides the scheme there would be no requirement to adjust the current scheme rules.
Mr Ballantine also wished to point out that the NAfW and Westminster had opted to employ the minimum external transfer method whereby the spouse would be paid a one off lump sum following a divorce (stated at the meeting but corrected in the afternoon). The Trustees were also informed that if they opted to select this approach they would be advised to inform all scheme members, firstly, that the method was in place, and also that in applying the method an administration charge, ranging from £500 - £1,000, would be incurred by the member. Mr Ballantine pointed out that this charge has proved to be a deterrent in previous cases.
RETIREMENTS/ DEFERRED AWARDS
The Trustees discussed the issues involved in tendering for Investment
Managers who exercise a corporate responsibility in relation to the
firms in which they invest. Mr Dallat raised the question of whether
it would be seen as good practice for the Members Pension Scheme to
be seen to invest in companies which promoted such social activities
drinking alcohol, smoking etc when the Assembly as a body was involved
in promoting healthy living, healthy lifestyle etc. Mr Ballantine informed
the Trustees that due to the relatively small AMPS fund their influence
would be limited as the pooled fund consists of numerous investors.
He also informed the Trustees that there are a group of Investment Managers
who invest solely in environmentally and socially responsible areas,
however selecting this option would without doubt reduce the number
of alternatives available. He also wished to stress the importance of
placing the performance of the fund to the forefront in terms of their
priorities. Mr Ballantine agreed to prepare a paper to be used as the
basis for the Trustees to agree on the funds investment principles for
the forthcoming year.
Mr Ballantine informed the Trustees that following a review of pay and pensions by the SSRB, MP’s at Westminster had voted for an increase in their rate.
Mr Ballantine stated that the Trustees might wish to advocate a similar change in the AMPS. In response the Trustees stated that they had previously voted not to implement the enhanced rates within the scheme.
Mr Ballantine had prepared a paper informing the Trustees of a number of changes which were being introduced. Mr Ballantine briefly outlined the main points regarding the change in retirement age, the introduction of the single tax regime and the increase in Inland Revenue limits.
The Trustees were informed of an approach by the Mercer Group that had recently requested details on the present valuation of the AMPS fund. They also invited the Trustees to attend a training seminar on 28 January 2004. In response the Trustees decided to decline both requests.
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held in mid March.
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