Agenda and minutes

Venue: via Microsoft Teams

No. Item


Conflict of Interest Declaration


No new interests were declared.



Notes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Notes of the meeting held on 9 December 2020 attached.


The Notes of the meeting held on 9 December 2020 were AGREED.




Review of Actions pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Review of Actions of previous meeting attached.


RECEIVED updated Action Log listing Open Actions. Progress against actions was indicated in the comments column. It was noted that:

·       Local KPIs featured elsewhere on the agenda for the meeting;

·       Cyber security and WYPF Business Continuity Plan. MP had forwarded information on areas flagged by the Service as part of its review of the WYPF plan. MP would pursue a response from WYPF and then review the risk register accordingly;

·       Pensionability of Fixed Terms Contracts. This was addressed in the Scheme Managers Update. It had been confirmed that the Regulations clearly provided that fixed term contracts were not pensionable under the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes. Pension benefits could be secured for those on fixed term contracts by joining the LGPS, for which automatic enrolment should apply. Clarity on this would be sought from HR;

·       the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) action was completed and could be closed;

·       Administration, governance etc. model strategy. The outcome of the LGA consultation on this was still awaited. MP would chase this response;

·       McCloud/Sargeant remedy. This was currently rated amber as it would involve a considerable amount of work for the Service. West Yorkshire FRS was looking to see whether there was appetite amongst FRAs to obtain collective legal advice on how to proceed. The LGA was co-ordinating this and the advice was still awaited.

The FBU had instigated three High Court cases seeking application of the remedy to pensions in payment” cases in advance of the final, legislated remedy, the outcome of which could have significant implications for fire and rescue serves. At present, the focus remained on collection of relevant data. This was an important issue for former FFs who had retired and those coming up to retirement. The O’Brien case related to a different matter and would have bearing in terms of how far back fire authorities had to go in terms of remedy. It was felt that in light of these uncertainties, it was felt that the McCloud/Sargeant remedy should probably be rated red on the Action Log and risk register;

·       JL asked whether the process for obtaining quotations for ill-health retirements could be accelerated. This was in reference to specific cases and CG undertook to look into this;

·       Progression of training from TNA featured elsewhere on the agenda. Board Members were asked to indicate areas for development;

·       Injury pension – incorrect calculation of allowances. Some state benefits were deductible from the injury pension. WYPF had indicated that some incorrect deductions may have been made. This still required clarification from Peninsula Pensions (the previous administrator) on the rationale for initially making the deductions. If the deductions were in error, compensatory payments would be made.

(SEE ALSO NOTES LPB/21/5, LPB/21/6, LPB/21/7(b) AND LPB/21/10 BELOW)




Appointments to the Board 2021 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Paper attached.


RECEIVED paper identifying forthcoming Employer and Scheme Member Representative vacancies to the Board, in accordance with its Terms of Reference, and the process for appointments to each.



Review of Terms of Reference and Roles & Responsibilities pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Paper attached.


Additional documents:


RECEIVED paper on the annual review of these documents. It was felt that both continued to be fit for purpose and required no revision.



Scheme Manager Update pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Paper attached.


RECEIVED paper summarising current pension matters both locally and nationally which required input from the Service. In particular, the paper addressed:

Pension Surveys and Annual Returns

WYPF had submitted the annual return to the Pension Regulator by the deadline of 15 December 2020.

Pension Communications

A communication on the government consultation on the proposed response to the discrimination issues identified in the McCloud/Sargeant case had been issued to staff on 4 February 2021. The LGA was in the process of creating a central repository for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on this issue.

Pension Projects (Transition Protection Judgement; O’Brien v Ministry of Justice; Fixed-term contracts and eligibility to join the Firefighters’ Pensions Schemes; Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations)

The paper set out key points from the Government response to the consultation on proposals to remove the discrimination identified in the McCloud/Sargeant case. The LGA would be working with the relevant government departments to review the implications of the response and to support fire and rescue authorities with this issue (including with training and Member communications). While the Home Office had issued informal guidance on treatment of immediate detriment cases, this was far from definitive and the LGA was seeking additional input from the Treasury and the Home Office. Additionally, fire and rescue authorities would be seeking, collectively, legal advice on addressing immediate detriment cases. It was noted that the FBU had commenced legal action with a view to effecting immediate payments for retired members. The outcomes of these could impact progression of the immediate detriment remedy.

MP commented that this Authority was keen to implement the remedy as soon as possible but required assurance that it would be doing so in a legally compliant way, avoiding any unauthorised payment ramifications. There were a number of significant issues to be addressed (including accurate comparisons of benefits between the two schemes; and personal taxation implications). The Authority was supportive of lobbying to secure the most expeditious resolution to these issues.

O’Brien v Ministry of Justice was now referred to by the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) as the Special Members of the FPS 2006 second options exercise. Further information, together with an information note, had been provided by the LGA.

Following attendance at an SAB meeting on 10 December 2020, it had been confirmed that temporary appointments (including fixed term contracts) were not pensionable. SAB was intending to issue an advice note, setting out the legal position, for use by fire and rescue authorities but no timeline had been indicated for this.

The Public Sector Exit Cap Regulations had been revoked by the Government after a review found implementation could have “unintended consequences”.

Reporting Breaches of Law

There had been no breaches to report since last meeting

Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP)

There had been no new complaints under the Procedure since the last Board meeting.

Pension Administrator Quality of Service

The Service continued to have an excellent working relationship with WYPF, with both parties seeking to improve the arrangements in place.

(SEE ALSO  ...  view the full minutes text for item LPB/21/5


Update on Potential Key Performance Indicators for the Service and Board pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Paper attached.


RECEIVED paper providing an update on development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for both the Service and the Board. A KPI had already been established on monthly pension reporting to WYPF by the last day of the month. This target had been achieved for the last six months.

Submission of ill-health early retirement forms to Occupational Health had been monitored since December 2020. Over the three month period, paperwork had been submitted to WYPF within an agreed timeframe of 6 weeks on three out of 13 occasions (23%). Part of the issue here was that, while staff were encouraged to provide more notice of retirement, they were only required to give 1 months’ notice. Staff would be issued with a further reminder to submit notice of retirement at the earliest opportunity. The target of forwarding paperwork to WYPF within five days of receipt by Pay & Conditions had been met for all but two of the 13 occasions, with the Christmas break being the factor.

Work was progressing on the development of KPIs around:

·       ill-health retirement process and timescales;

·       timeframes for provision of information to WYPF to enable estimates to be made; and

·       number of follow-up queries of the Service from WYPF following submission of requests.






Board Risk Management Procedure

Draft attached.


RECEIVED proposed procedure on the identification, categorisation, evaluation, treatment (control measures) and monitoring of Board risks. The paper also identified roles and responsibilities associated with the procedure. This was in response to the tPR previous survey report advocating that Local Pension Boards had their own risk management procedures. The Board endorsed the proposed procedure, subject to the definition of “Risk Owner” being amended to read “senior person taking responsibility for the risk (i.e. who can control resources and determine what happens with the risk)”.

The procedure would be published on the pension page of the Service website.



Risk Register pdf icon PDF 466 KB

To review the register (v.1.08) attached.


RECEIVED latest version (v1.08) of the Board Risk Register. The Risk Register was a “live” document and could be updated at any stage. The controls had not changed since the last Board meeting and further work was required for some risks to secure an accurate net risk score.







To confirm that the website is up-to-date.


NOTED that the website was considered up-to-date at this time.



tPR Public Service Governance and Administration Survey 2019 Results pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To discuss.


RECEIVED Research report on the results as prepared for the Pensions Regulator (tPR). 55% reported that they had all relevant Board processes in place, a reduction from last year (63%). These results were still being assessed to see whether there were matters that this Board would need to address.



tPR Public Service Governance and Administration Survey 2020 Submission pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To discuss.


RECEIVED submission made to tPR on behalf of the Board to the 2020 survey.



Annual Review of Internal Controls pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Document attached.


RECEIVED latest Board review against tPR checklist for public services.



tPR Self-Assessment pdf icon PDF 509 KB

Document attached.


RECEIVED latest version which now provided a narrative rationale for the RAG ratings used. It was noted that all areas of the self-assessment were now green. The self-assessment would be reviewed twice each year.



TOPICS OF INTEREST - Split (Two) Pensions Rule pdf icon PDF 571 KB


This had been identified as a Topic of Interest from the Training Needs Analysis.

The Board was provided with a copy of the guidance note produced by the LGA, which HS then went on to elaborate.

The entitlement to two pensions (colloquially referred to as a “split pension”) is triggered by a reduction in pensionable pay before a member was moved to the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015) and is intended to prevent any financial disadvantage that might otherwise result from moving to a lower paid role (attracting a lower final salary pension) having previously paid greater pension contributions associated when undertaking a higher paid role.  




Training Log pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Latest version attached.


NOTED latest version of the Board Training Log (updated January 2021). All Board Members had completed tPR e-learning modules.



Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and Training Plan pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Paper attached.

Additional documents:


RECEIVED paper setting out the results of the Training Needs Analysis completed by seven of the eight Board Members and identifying areas of common development need for consideration. Potential delivery methods for development work, together with indicative timescales for 2021, were set out in the paper. Potential areas for future focus included:

·         June meeting – pensions law;

·         September meeting – publishing Scheme information; record keeping; risk management and internal contols (possible training package developed by Clair Alcock); and

·         December – resolving disputes; annual and lifetime allowance; rules on abatement.

MP would also be discussing training needs with individual members.

Correspondence circulated to the Board might also generate other areas for further exploration – either individually or collectively.

JL commented that it would also be useful to the process for calculation of ill-health pensions. It was agreed to add this to the work programme as a Topic of Interest. HS could provide information on the relevant Regulations and benefit calculation aspects. The LGA may also have useful supportive information.




Correspondence Update pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Document attached.


RECEIVED latest version of log listing all correspondence received and circulated to Board Members since the last meeting.



LPB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Attached, for review. 


RECEIVED latest version of the Board work programme to December 2022. This would, though, be a rolling work programme, with indicative items subject to change. Other items could be incorporated as required. MP would add potential Topics of Interest and Board Training to the next iteration. The TNA would be refreshed annually and the review date would feature on the next iteration of the Work Programme.



Date of Next Meeting

15.00hours, Wednesday 23 June 2021 (venue to be confirmed).


15.00hours, Wednesday 23 June 2021 (venue to be confirmed).

In closing the meeting, the Board thanked AW for all her work on behalf of the Board and wished her well in her new employment.