Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room A, Service Headquarters

Contact: Hannah Singleton 

No. Item




No apologies to note.


Vicky Wallens-Hancock and Michael Prior would attend another meeting. MP confirmed that both would be attending for information and expertise sharing.  Michael Prior was formerly a lawyer with a number of years’ experience in the Pension Sector.


A suggestion was made that the Board invite Malcolm Eastwood to a future meeting.


Conflict of Interest Declaration


No conflicts of interest declared.


This was GWs first meeting and he would send his signed Interests Form to HS for publish on the website.


It was highlighted that the duties of AWs post had the potential to cause conflicts of interest.  AW had, however, acknowledged this on her Declaration Form and it was not considered that the issue would present any insurmountable obstruction to her service on the Board.



Joint Boards and Independent Chair - Michael Prior (Chair Scheme Advisory Board for Wales)


Michael Priors attendance at the meeting had been postponed to an alternative date (see also Note LPB/19/1 above).



Notes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Notes of the meeting held on 09 May 2018 attached


The Notes of the last meeting held on 09 May 2018 were AGREED.



Review of Actions pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Review of Actions of previous meeting attached.


The latest iteration of the Action log circulated to Board members for review, with the following issues considered.


All members and officers involved with the administration of Pensions to have undertaken all seven modules on the Pension Regulator Toolkit by the 18 April 2018 (Note PB/18/4/g)

Ongoing - BW was reminded to complete the training (see also Note PB/2019/6 below).


MP would review the documentation relating to roles and responsibilities and where this information had been published (PB/18/15) MP would update the Board at the next meeting, revise Terms of Reference.

Ongoing - HS had provided researched documents to MP. BW would contact Clair Alcock for further information.


To develop a risk register

Ongoing – see Note LPB/19/9 below.


MP to work alongside HS to create a skeleton programme of work. This will determine the dates for the next meetings.

Ongoing – this would be completed and circulated prior to the next meeting on 25 April


MP to contact members of the board about quorum - in the event of non-consensus MP will be take a paper to the Authority on the 14th December.

Ongoing - see Note LPB/19/14 below.




Training Log Update pdf icon PDF 59 KB


Discussed under Action Log – see Note LPB/19/5 above.



Correspondence Update pdf icon PDF 93 KB



Annual Benefit Statement Breach pdf icon PDF 136 KB


The Board CONSIDERED the breach by West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF) arising from its failure to supply all members of the Pension Scheme with an Annual benefits statement (ABS).


The delay in providing the ABS had been as a result of the data held by WYPF. There was a legal requirement for each Scheme Member to receive a statement by 31 August each financial year. The Board felt the number of individuals affected (71 members – representing 100% - for one particular scheme) was significant. In response to the breach, WYPF would be taking remedial action to mitigate a recurrence. WYPF had identified the cause and had made appropriate steps in reaction to the breach.


The Board recognised that the failure to send statements to all Scheme Members by the designated dealing was a technical breach of the regulatory requirements.  It was also recognised, however, that no individual had suffered a financial or materialistic detriment as a result of the breach and that there was a high likelihood that any Scheme Member been considering retirement the Service would not have relied on the statement but would instead have sought accurate figures on a pension projection. 


In light of the above, SP recommended to the Board that the breach should be logged on the Board’s breach register but not reported to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).  The Board did not accept this recommendation, considering that raising awareness of the issue at a national level would be beneficial.


Consequently, the Board AGREED to recommend SP to report the breach to The Pension Regulator (TPR).



Scheme Manager Update pdf icon PDF 397 KB


The Scheme Manager report was presented by SP and the following points were NOTED;


·        Pension Surveys and Annual returns;

o   The Service had sent an email to all active members of the Scheme providing details of the FPS Administration benchmarking survey. A suggestion was made to share this through the National Association of Retired Firefighters (NARF) to approach retired members of the scheme.

o   The Annual TPR Survey had been returned by the Service

·        Annual Benefits

o   71 Scheme Members had not received their ABS (see Note PB/2019/8 above)

o   399 requests had been made for pension estimates, WYPF had met their target on 69.17% of the requests.

o   Notification of an annual allowance breach had been recorded


Evidence of individual issues were highlighted by members of the Board specifically in relation to split pensions following the transition from Peninsula Pensions to West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF) It was noted a closure meeting would be necessary between Peninsula Pensions Payroll and the Service.


ACTION: SP to identify any individuals who received a split Pension and may have been paid an incorrect sum by WYPF. Clarity would be sought from WYPF to ensure they held enough data to rectify any errors encountered by the individuals.


·        WYPF had contacted individuals affected by the Pension changes concerning surviving partner’s pensions.

·        Taxation of the ill health part of an injury pension had been clarified

·        Transition protection judgement was likely to be received within 12 months, the decision had been made by the Government to apply to the Supreme Court. A communication had been shared with the Service by AW on Christmas Eve.

·        Abatement would not cease when an employee, whilst employed, reached a specific age

·        The reporting of breaches of the law statement within the Pensions Act 2004 (the Act) was clarified to the Board.

·        The Service was monitoring the performance and quality of service received from WYPF.


The Board was happy with the content contained with the Scheme Manager update.



Addressing the Management of Risk pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Paper to follow


The risk register was provided to the Board by supplementary agenda. SP provided additional papers at the meeting from The Pension Regulator (TPR) website, these detailed examples of risk register and internal control checklists.


To maintain continuity it was agreed the risk matrix used by the Pension Board would be reflective of the existing Service risk matrix.


To ensure Board members had sufficient knowledge, MP proposed a workshop for Board members to work through the risk register alongside SP to ensure they had a full understanding.


Action: HS to arrange a workshop for SP to discuss the Risk Register with Board Members



Local Pension Board Audit Draft Report pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:


The report was commissioned by the Board in 2018.  The Board welcomed the report and felt it added value to the action and improvement plans.


The notable summary points of the report were as follows;

·        The report had been produced to a good standard

·        Governance documents were in place with publication of these on the website

·        Notes of Board meetings were to be published on the website with effect from April 2019.

·        Consideration was required on the need for a deputy Scheme Manager.


Action: HS to add actions from report and add to the action log – find email with Amy’s comments



Self-Assessment Update (following comparison against TPR and LGA Surveys) pdf icon PDF 60 KB


The Self-assessment update had been provided to the Board for information.


The Board would seek to refresh the self-assessment update by the meeting in July.



Appointment to the Board DOTX 96 KB

Reappointment of one Scheme Manager and one Scheme Member


As per the Terms of Reference for the Board, it was necessary to give consideration to the reappointment to the Board of one Scheme Manager and one Scheme Member representative, the initial four year term of office nearing the point of expiry.


The Chair’s position as Scheme Manager representative would be eligible for reappointment. This would be submitted to the Authority meeting in June for consideration.


The Scheme Member representative position for reappointment was that of either BW or PR. BW advised that he would not continue on the Board past June 2020 but that he was prepared to remain on the Board up until this point. PR indicated that he was prepared to stand for reappointment. SP would arrange for the advertisement and appointment process to be undertaken.


Action: SP to undertake an advertisement and recruitment process for the position of a Scheme Member Representative on the Board (PR position)



Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 155 KB


The Boards’ terms of reference were reviewed by the Chair. It was the opinion of the Chair that the existing terms of reference were not suited to the Board’s needs.


In relation to meeting frequency the Board all agreed on the importance of the meetings and the need to ensure these were not cancelled. The previous two meetings had been cancelled due to the inability to secure a quorum. As a result the Chair recommended that the quorum of the Board reduced to 3 without the increasing of membership.


BW suggested increasing overall membership of the Board by two (one Scheme Member Representative and one Scheme Manager Representative). BW had ascertained that other Boards had uniformed employees, who were members of the scheme, as Scheme Manager Representatives. SP confirmed that it would be suitable to have a uniformed officer on the Board and indicated that he considered the quorum should comprise the same number of representatives e.g. a quorum of 4 (2 from each side)


AH did not feel as though the existing number of Board members was sufficient.


AW felt that the overall total size of the Board was currently sufficient due and proportionate to its functions.  It was also acknowledged that historically there had been a lack of volunteers to join the Board.  Consequently, AW did not consider that the overall size of the Board should be increased and that the proposed reduction in the quorum (to 3) should be agreed.


GW indicated that he agreed in principle with the proposed reduction in quorum but that as this was his first meeting, he felt the ultimate decision should rest with the more experienced members of the Board agree.


A proposal was made to increase the Board Membership to 8 with a quorum of 50% and there was discussion about whether this should include two or one representatives from each side. MP advised that whilst the Board could determine the quorum, the Authority would need to approve any proposal to increase the size of the Board. 


AGREED that:

a)     the Authority be asked to consider at its next meeting a recommendation to increase the Board membership to eight;

b)     subject to (a) above, the Authority be asked to appoint a Scheme Manager representative in addition to the appointment/ re-appointment at PB/2019/13 above; and

c)     subject to (a) above, the Human Resources Manager to appoint an additional Scheme Member representative from applicants to the process undertaken for the appointment at PB/2019/13 above; and

d)     subject to (a) above, the quorum for the Board to be 50% of the membership, to include at least one representative from each side.



Any Other Business


PR had been contacted by an individual raising concerns on an alleged issue on disparity with the Chief Fire Officers Pension. No further details had been provided, however, and consequently the matter could not be investigated further.



Next Meeting

April 25, July 25, October 30


The next meeting would take place on 25 April 2019 at 15:00 in Conference Room A at Service Headquarters