Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Newport, Isle of WIght

Contact: Megan Tuckwell  Email: democratic.services@iow.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To confirm as a true record the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2021 be confirmed.

 

28.

Declarations of Interest

To invite Members to declare any interest they might have in the matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations were received.

 

29.

Public Question Time - 15 Minutes Maximum

Questions may be asked without notice but to guarantee a full reply at the meeting, a question must be put including the name and address of the questioner by delivery in writing or by electronic mail to Democratic Services at democratic.services@iow.gov.uk, no later than two clear working days before the start of the meeting. The deadline for written questions will be Friday 19 November 2021.

 

Minutes:

No public questions were received.

 

Cllr Quigley asked a question in relation to a recent media article in relation to the Fund’s investment in fossil fuels. It was confirmed that information on the matter was not directly held by the Council and the information was being sought from the relevant fund managers when the article was published. A draft response on the matter has been prepared and was with the Chief Executive for review.

 

30.

Local Pension Board Membership pdf icon PDF 378 KB

To receive the report presented to Full Council on 17 November 2021. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report presented to the Full Council on 17 November 2021 which approved the Board’s revised terms of reference and formally made appointments to it.

 

The Technical Finance Manager provided an update on recruitment activities. It was advised that expressions of interest had been received for both scheme member representatives and the independent chair; details of  which had been forwarded to the chairman of the Pension Fund Committee and to the Section 151 Officer for consideration. No external employers had submitted nominations; the Council’s Corporate Management Team had been asked to nominate a senior officer to fulfil the other employer role.  Formal appointments would be confirmed at the meeting of the Full Council in January 2022. As a result of this the December 2021 meeting of the Board had been postponed to 2 February 2022 when the membership would been confirmed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the report on Local Pension Board membership be noted.

 

31.

Reports from the Local Pension Board:

31a

Minutes of the Local Pension Board - 21 July 2021 (Draft) pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received the draft minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 21 July 2021. No comments were made, and the minutes were noted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the minutes of the meetings of the Local Pension Board held on 21 July 2021 be noted.

 

31b

Approval of the Local Pension Board Annual Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received the Board’s annual report 2020-21. It was advised that the report would form part of the pension funds annual report and accounts. No comments or questions were made at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the Local Pension Board’s annual report 2020-21 be approved for inclusion in the Pension Fund’s annual report.

 

32.

Annual Report and Accounts:

32a

Preliminary External Audit Results Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive the report for the year ended 31 March 2021, as presented to the Audit Committee on 27 September 2021.  

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report for the year ended 31 March 2021, as presented to the Audit Committee on 27 September 2021. Questions were raised and clarification was provided with regards to the progress with completion of the audit and the terminology contained within the report.  

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the preliminary external audit results be noted.

 

32b

Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 547 KB

To consider and adopt annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021and to approve its publication on the pension fund’s website. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the annual report and accounts for 2021-22, which would form part of the accounts of the Council which were to be presented to the Audit Committee for approval on 6 December 2021. No questions or comments were made at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

i)            THAT the pensions fund’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021 be approved.

 

ii)           THAT the annual report and accounts be published on the pension fund website as soon as possible following the completion of the council’s external audit.

 

iii)         THAT the committee be notified when the annual report is published.

 

33.

Decision Making Matrix pdf icon PDF 526 KB

To consider the output from the development session on 7 September 2021, and to adopt the decision-making matrix as the process to be followed for all future pension fund decisions. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the decision-making matrix which had been developed following the output of the development session on held on 7 September 2021. It was proposed that the matrix be adopted as the process to be followed for all future pension fund decisions.

 

It was noted that the report clearly defined the roles, responsibilities, and the process for decision-making for the Board and Committee. Consideration was given to a joint committee and board development session on the matter once the full Board membership was in place.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the decision-making matrix be adopted, and that all future decisions in respect of the fund be considered in line with the responsibilities contained therein.

 

34.

Risk Register pdf icon PDF 384 KB

To consider the output from the development session on 6 October 2021 and to agree the updated Risk Management Policy for the fund.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the revised risk management policy for the fund. It was advised that the policy was adopted by the committee in December 2019 and the annual review scheduled for December 2020 was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was confirmed that a risk register was in development and would be presented to all future meetings of the Board and Committee for consideration. No questions or comments were raised at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the changes to the Risk Management Policy be approved for publication on the fund’s website and for inclusion in the fund’s annual report and accounts.

 

35.

Investment Performance and Funding Level:

35a

Valuation of the Fund’s investments as at 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

35b

Performance of the Fund’s investment assets and indicative funding levels as at 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Investment Consultant of Hymans Robertson presented the investment performance report for the quarter ended 30 September 2021, which included a summary of market returns, capital market outlook, asset allocation, fund performance, and fund manager performance. Consideration was given to the valuation of the fund’s investments as at 30 September 2021.

 

Questions were raised regarding responsible investment, renewable energy, oil price as an indicator for global growth, and social investment in the property portfolio. It was emphasised that the Committee’s fiduciary duty was to the pension scheme members and that specific investment activities were delegated to fund managers.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the updates be noted.

 

36.

Report from ESG/RI Working Group pdf icon PDF 372 KB

To receive a report from the ESG/RI working group, including adoption of the group’s terms of reference, and approval of the fund’s membership of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The vice-chairman presented the report which recommended that the terms of reference for the ESG/RI Working Group be agreed, and that the fund joins the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum for the remainder of financial year 2021-22 and for 2022-23. It was confirmed that the working group was not a decision-making body but would make recommendations to the committee for consideration.

 

RESOLVED:

 

i)               THAT the notes and actions from the first two ESG/RI working group meetings be noted.

 

ii)              THAT the terms of reference for the ESG/RI working group be approved.

 

iii)            THAT the fund’s membership of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) be approved, and the Technical Finance Manager be authorised to proceed with membership.

 

37.

Legislation / Regulation Update

To receive a verbal update on key legislative, regulatory, and other developments in the LGPS.

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager provided a verbal update on key legislative, regulatory, and other developments in the LGPS. It was advised that a new minister with responsibility for the LGPS had been appointed; however it was unlikely that progress would be made on the pooling consultation or £95k exit cap at this stage due to the backlogs from the former MHCLG. In relation to climate change activity, it was expected that Government would shortly issue a consultation on climate risk and reporting with a view to introduce new regulations from 1 April 2022. No questions or comments were raised at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the update be noted.

 

38.

Knowledge and Understanding pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To confirm the record of development undertaken by committee members in the period to 31 October 2021, including individual progress towards the completion of the Pension Regulator’s toolkit modules and the LGPS Online Learning Academy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the report which summarised the development activities undertaken by committee members and highlighted forthcoming training events. Committee members were asked to provide information on external training events that they have attended, and to confirm their progress in working through the Pension Regulator’s online toolkit. Comments were made with regards to technical jargon, and the support available to Committee and Board members was outlined, including the offer of one-to-one discussions with the Technical Finance Manager.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the record of development activities be noted.

 

39.

Contract Management:

39a

To note the timetable for the review of significant contracts held by the Fund, and to confirm actions. pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the report which summarised the main contracts held by the fund and outlined the actions required to review each contract to determine whether to renew, extend or replace the providers. No questions or comments were raised at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the update and report be noted.

 

39b

To consider the Annual Compliance Statement in respect of the CMA's Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019 pdf icon PDF 372 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the draft annual compliance statement for the period 10 December 2020 to 9 December 2021. The committee was asked to authorise the chairman to sign the compliance statement to enable it to be submitted before the due date of 6 January 2022. No questions or comments were raised at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

i)               THAT the current objectives for the fund’s investment consultants, be noted.

 

ii)              THAT the fund’s compliance with the requirements of Parts 3 and 7 of the Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019 be confirmed.

 

iii)            THAT the chairman of the Pension Fund Committee be authorised to sign the annual compliance statement after 9 December 2021.

 

iv)            THAT a report be brought to the February 2022 committee confirming submission of the compliance statement.

 

Following discussion, the Committee adjourned for a 5-minute comfort break.

40.

Fund Managers Presentation pdf icon PDF 271 KB

To receive presentation from Newtons Investment Management Ltd regarding the global equity portfolio.

Minutes:

The committee received a presentation from Newton Investment Management Ltd regarding the ACCESS global equity portfolio. This included an overview of long-term trends, the world market background, investment performance, performance attribution, Q3/Q4 transactions, portfolio positioning, and responsible investment.

 

Questions were raised regarding exposure to oil and gas, responsible investments, food production, and water supply. Discussion took place regarding the performance of the small and mid-cap sector and any hedging strategy with regards to political risk.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the fund manager’s presentation be noted.

 

41.

Items circulated for Councillors Attention

To note items circulated to committee members since the papers were published for last committee meeting (20 July 2021), for information:

a)    Sent 23-Jul-21: Baillie Gifford presentation to Committee on 28-Jul-2021

b)    Sent 23-Jul-21: invitation to LGA Governance Conference, January 2022

c)    Sent 23-Jul-21: invitation to Barnett Waddingham/CIPFA committee seminars Autumn 2021

d)    Sent 26-Jul-21: invitation to Hymans Robertson Keeping the LGPS connected webinar 4-Aug-21

e)    Sent 29-Jul-21: PLSA conference slides

f)      Sent 30-Jul-21: invitation to Schroders Autumn Conference 9-Sep-21

g)    Sent 30-Jul-21: invitation to session (triennial valuation) 12-Jan-21

h)    Sent 04-Aug-21: invitation to session (ACCESS: pooling) 10-Nov-21

i)      Sent 06-Sep-21: slides of decision-making development session

j)      Sent 07-Sep-21: recording of decision-making development session

k)    Sent 23-Sep-21: invitation to Newton investment conference 18-Nov-21

l)      Sent 30-Sep-21: LGPC Bulletin 214

m)  Sent 30-Sep-21: invitation to Hymans Robertson COP26 webinar 9-Nov-21.

n)    Sent 30-Sep-21: invitation to Hymans Robertson webinar “Planning for the 2022 LGPS valuation” 14-Oct-21.

o)    Sent 04-Oct-21: risk management development session slides

p)    Sent 04-Oct-21: invitation to briefing session from LAPFF on 29-Oct-21

q)    Sent 04-Oct-21: draft decision-making matrix, from session on 7-Sep-21

r)     Sent 07-Oct-21: recording of risk management session from 6-Oct-21

s)    Sent 08-Oct-21: invitation to Hymans Robertson Keeping the LGPS connected webinar 20-Oct-21

t)      Sent 08-Oct-21: October issue of The Edit (Hymans Robertson)

u)    Sent 09-Nov-21: Slides for ACCESS development session 10-Nov-21

Minutes:

The committee noted the items circulated for information since the last meeting. No questions or comments were raised at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the items circulated for attention be noted.

 

42.

Workplan pdf icon PDF 917 KB

To consider the workplan for the Committee and Board for 2021-22.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the workplan for the Committee and Board for the year 2021-22. Attention was drawn to the upcoming development sessions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the workplan be noted.

 

43.

Members' Question Time

A question may be asked at the meeting without prior notice but in these circumstances there is no guarantee that a full reply will be given at the meeting. To guarantee a reply to a question, a question  must be submitted in writing or by electronic mail to democratic.services@iow.gov.uk no later than 10.00am on Monday 22 November 2021.

Minutes:

Cllr Ward raised a question with regards to investment rebalancing and the Technical Finance Manager provided a response.

 

44.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

To consider passing a resolution that, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, namely agenda item 19 on the grounds that there is likely to be disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the public and press be excluded.

 

45.

ACCESS Update:

45a

To consider report from the Joint Committee on 6 September 2021 and to note the matters discussed pdf icon PDF 687 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received and noted the report from the ACCESS Joint Committee held on 6 September 2021. No comments or questions were made at this stage.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the update be noted.

 

45b

To consider matters arising from the development session held on 10 November 2021.

Minutes:

No comments were made at this stage.

 

45c

To discuss the local response to the request from Unison for scheme member representation on the Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Technical Finance Manager presented the local response to the request from Unison for scheme member representation on the Joint Committee. The committee were asked to support Unison in recommending that the ACCESS joint committee reconsiders the request.

 

RESOLVED:

 

THAT the committee and requests that the attending councillor (Cllr Andre) votes in favour of the request the request for scheme member representation on the ACCESS Joint Committee