Agenda and minutes

No. Item


Conflict of Interest Declaration


No new interests were declared.



Topic of interest - Pension Law

Clair Alcock (Local Government Association) will join the meeting from 15.00 to 15.30hours to discuss the knowledge and understanding Board Members need to have around the FPS scheme regulations and also the range and extent of the law relating to pensions that applies to the FPS.



(Clair Alcock [CA] [Senior Pension Adviser, Local Government Association - LGA] in attendance for this item).

CA delivered a presentation on the knowledge and skills required of a Board Member and the resources available to assist Board Members discharge their role effectively and efficiently. The presentation covered, amongst other things:

·         the respective roles and responsibilities for firefighters pension schemes (Scheme Manager; Local Pension Board; Scheme Advisory Board; Pensions Administrator; and the Home Office [drafting of relevant legislation only, not interpretation]);

·         the role of the Local Pensions Board, which was to secure compliance with relevant pensions legislation;

·         guidance (including e-learning modules) from the Pensions Regulator (tPR) – the Board should have sufficient knowledge and understanding - and the right questioning approach - to be assured of compliance. This involved having a reasonable (not exhaustive) knowledge of the law (most recent legislation; rationale for decisions made); understanding the risks (risk assessments; internal controls to monitor and assess risk); understanding the data; understanding about the collection of money at the right time; understanding breaches of law; acting without conflict; and where to find relevant information (e.g. LGA FF Pensions Scheme website; FF Pensions Schemes Regulations and Guidance website; Firefighters Pensions Scheme Members website; Scheme Advisory Board website).



Notes pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Notes of the meeting held on 17 March 2021 attached.


The Notes of the meeting held on 17 March 2021 were AGREED.



Review of Actions pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Review of Actions of previous meeting attached.


CONSIDERED updated Action Log (at 9 June 2021) listing Open Actions. Progress against actions was indicated in the comments column. It was noted that:

·           work was ongoing with KPIs (see item LPB/21/21) below;

·           the final administration, management and governance strategy was still awaited. The Board had already agreed to adopt this, once issued;

·           McCloud/Sargeant. Immediate detriment cases were now being progressed in line with guidance issued (see item LBP/21/20 below). A copy of latest guidance from the government and the LGA had already been circulated to Board Members. Progression of remedy for people who had already retired was currently on hold pending further clarification;

·           appointments to the Board should be finalised following the Authority annual meeting on 29 June 2021;

·           the issue of incorrect deductions of retirement allowance relating to injury pensions was still being progressed;

·           the following actions were closed:

o    pensionability of fixed term contracts (see item LPB/21/21 below);

o    Board Training Needs Analysis;

o    Board Terms of Reference and roles/responsibilities review;

o    annual review of internal controls;

o    change of designated Scheme Manager;

o    the Pensions Regulator (tPR) consultation on draft content for new Code of Practice;

o    register of breaches of law; and

o    contractual overtime (Fire Brigades Union request). This item was now being addressed by the relevant Employment Relations Committee.



Training Log Update pdf icon PDF 300 KB


NOTED latest version of the Board Training Log (updated June 2021). All Board Members had completed tPR e-learning modules. New Board Members would be asked to undertake tPR e-learning modules.



Correspondence Update pdf icon PDF 263 KB


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



Scheme Manager Update pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Paper attached.


CONSIDERED 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

The annual Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure data return had been submitted to the Bluelight Pensions team at the LGA in May 2021.

The LGA had requested completion of a remedy self-assessment survey, which is due by 30 June 2021. The survey sought to gain understanding of arrangements for managing the pension scheme and specifically implementing the age discrimination remedy. The Service had responded to this survey.

The data required by the Scheme Administrator, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF), for the 2021 Annual Benefit Statements was submitted on 13 May 2021. The Service was fully up to date with the pension reporting required monthly by WYPF.

Pension Communications

An email communication setting out the Authority’s decision on progressing immediate detriment cases had been circulated to all eligible staff on 23 April 2021.

An intranet page had been created to provide updates regarding the pension reform and age discrimination remedy. This was communicated to staff by the Service communications team on 24 May 2021.

Also on 24 May 2021, communication were issued on the launch of the first national website for Firefighters’ pension scheme members, based on the scheme rules currently in place. Future content, including age discrimination remedy updates, would be added.

The LGA had advised that 2021 Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) for protected members should not include projections beyond the current scheme year. This would be communicated in the ABS and the LGA acknowledged that, whilst this would be disappointing to members, it was due to the limitations within the software at present.

A communication was issued on 21 April 2021 signposting FPS members to their online pension accounts, where members will be able to view their ABS.

In March 2021, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report into public service pensions. Whilst it was reported that the introduction of the 2015 scheme helped contain rising costs, it contained five key recommendations on issues the Government should look to address soon, including the impact of age discrimination remedy and how the cost control mechanism works.

Pension Projects (Transition Protection Judgement; O’Brien v Ministry of Justice; Fixed-term contracts and eligibility to join the Firefighters’ Pensions Schemes; Ill health Injury Pension and State benefits)

The paper set out:

·           the Authority decision, at its Extraordinary Meeting on 20 April 2021, to seek to remedy “immediate detriment” cases in light of transition protection judgement and subsequent advice from the government and the LGA. Nine requests had been received for immediate detriment quotations for retirement before 1 April 2022. Linked to this issue, the Authority would be invited to revise its policy on Voluntary Scheme Pays at its meeting on 29 June 2021. The LGA had released a set of remedy data collection tools. Additionally, both the government and the LGA had issued updated guidance on immediate detriment cases. The Scheme Advisory Board had written an open letter  ...  view the full minutes text for item LPB/21/20


Board KPI Report pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Paper attached.


CONSIDERED paper providing an update on development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for both the Service and the Board. This detailed progress against the two established KPIs:

1.      submission of monthly pension reporting to WYPF by the last day of the month – secured on eight out of the nine months that this KPI had been measured. In future years, an extended timeframe would be applied for submission of reports in March; and

2.      notifications of normal retirement and timeframes for submission – the Pay and Conditions Team had continued to submit notifications of normal retirements to WYPF within the service level agreement of five days of receipt. The issue still remained, though, of the Service receipt of notification of normal retirements in sufficient time. A potential solution for this could be discussed further as necessary, informed by what other fire and rescue services might be doing. This would in part, however, depend on individual service notice requirements.

Work was ongoing on development of a proposed KPI for the ill-health retirement process and timescales.

Two further KPIs were proposed and accepted, for measurement quarterly by way of 360 degree feedback from WYPF and subject to review at the next Board meeting:

(a).  The timeframe for estimates to be processed: from the request being made by the staff member to WYPF having all of the necessary information to process each one; and

(b).  Quality of data: the number of follow up queries needed by WYPF following initial submission of the request for an estimate/quote.



Risk Register pdf icon PDF 584 KB

To review the register (attached).


CONSIDERED latest version (v1.08) of the Board Risk Register. There had been no changes since the Board last viewed the Register. The Register was, however, a “live” document and could be updated at any stage. It would also be necessary to measure the effectiveness of the control measures to mitigate the risks as indicated in the Register



LPB Annual Report

For discussion. This report will need to be prepared and issued to the Authority’s Audit & Governance Committee on 30 July 2021.


The Annual Report covering work undertaken by the Board during 2020 would be prepared for submission to the Authority’s Audit & Governance Committee on 30 July 2021. The draft report would be circulated to Board Members for comment prior to finalisation and submission to the Committee.



Self-Assessment/Assurance - Website


NOTED that the website was considered up-to-date at this time. Membership of the Board would be revised in due course. The website could also be revised as necessary to include links to other, useful source websites (as per CA’s earlier presentation – see LPB/21/15 above).


LPB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Attached.  To review programme and items for LPB meeting in 15 September 2021.


NOTED 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 consider production of a corresponding programme for Topics of Interest for consideration at individual Board meetings.



Date of Next Meeting

15.00hours, Wednesday 15 September 2021 (venue to be confirmed).


15.00hours, Wednesday 15 September 2021 (venue to be confirmed).