A report of the Director of Finance was presented to provide Members with updated versions of a number of governance policies for comment and/or noting as appropriate. Some policy updates would be circulated to Pension Fund Employers for further comment.
Most of the Pension Fund’s governance policies were required to be formally updated every three years. This review was overdue for some policies, mainly as an overarching review of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) governance had been expected for over a year now, as a follow-on from work carried out on behalf of the Scheme Advisory Board. Since there was still no certainty of when the expected revised regulations or guidance on LGPS governance would appear, and as internal audit had recommended the Fund should update the existing governance documents, the following documents had been reviewed and updated based on the existing regulations and guidance:
• Governance Policy and Compliance Statement
• Training Policy
• Conflict of Interest Policy
• Risk Management Policy
• Procedures for Reporting Breaches of Law
• Communication Policy
• Pension Administration Strategy and Charging Policy
• Fund Officers’ Scheme of Delegation
Copies of the documents were attached at Appendices A to H of the submitted report. Most of the changes made were minor and cosmetic, with the exception of the Pensions Administration Strategy which had been substantially rewritten to make it a shorter, more usable document. Significantly, the Pensions Administration Strategy now also included a Charging Policy, setting out a range of possible charges that employers could incur if they failed to comply with requirements in the Pensions Administration Strategy and Charging Policy. The Charging Policy had been introduced following an internal audit recommendation. The intention was only to levy these charges as a last resort - the Fund and its administrator would always seek to work with employers to help them fulfil data exchange and other requirements.
The Head of Pensions Governance and Investments confirmed that the Pensions Administration Strategy and Charging Policy would be sent to employers for consultation and brought back to the Committee for approval, should substantive changes be made following that consultation. The other governance policies would take immediate effect, subject to any comments from the Committee.
ORDERED as follows that:
1. The following policies were approved and adopted: Governance Policy and Compliance Statement, Training Policy, Conflict of Interest Policy, Risk Management Policy, Procedures for Reporting Breaches of Law, Communication Policy, Fund Officers’ Scheme of Delegation.
2. The Pension Administration Strategy and Charging Policy was approved and adopted, subject to there being no substantive changes following consultation on the policy with employers.