Summary note of (virtual) meeting held on 5th May 2020

An archive of all previously published Advisory Board updates is available here.

Full details of the meeting and agenda papers can be found on this website. The Chair opened the meeting by welcoming Rachel Brothwood (WMPF) to her first meeting as the Board’s practitioner representative. Members were also advised that steps are well under way to fill the vacant Labour employer seat from the Met District administering authorities.

Main points arising from the meeting include :-

McCloud – Discussions with MHCLG continue on remedy. A consultation is still expected in late June with separate proposals for the LGPS. Members were also advised that a judicial review has been launched by the FBU, and four other public sector trade unions against the government’s decision to pause the cost cap arrangement.

Covid-19 issues – Members were advised of the following work being undertaken by SAB to assist the scheme :-

  • UK wide FAQ’s including guidance on furloughed staff and emergency voluntary leavers
  • New covid-19 section of the SAB website at www.lgpsboard.org
  • Establishment of a Covid-19 Practitioners Group
  • Weekly meetings with MHCLG, SPPA (Scotland) and DfC (Northern Ireland)
  • Three surveys launched on scheme resilience; cash flow and governance
  • Employer webinars
  • Scheme member FAQs

 

DHSC Life Assurance arrangement – Members were advised that full details of the DGSC life assurance scheme were still awaited but that questions are already being asked about whether similar arrangements are being considered for local government employees not covered by the DHSC scheme. Members were advised that no formal discussions have taken place but that representations have been made to MHCLG about the possibility of extending the scheme to other frontline local government staff.

Impact of covid-19 on SAB projects and workload :-

  • Good Governance project – To allow local government officers to concentrate on priority matters during the emergency, the Board agreed that the Phase III Implementation Working Group should be stood down until further notice. In the meantime, the project team at Hymans Robertson will continue to work on draft outcomes for consideration by the working group and the Board in due course.
  • Responsible Investment Guidance – Work on preparing an A-Z guide to Responsible Investment) will continue over the summer. As agreed in February the guide will not at this stage include any reference to fiduciary duty. The aim is to have a final draft for wider consultation ready to be considered by the Board by mid-August.
  • Academies project – Members were advised that the various recommendations from the project’s working groups on administration are to be included in ongoing work on monthly data submission and Pension Administration Strategies when possible , Third tier employers project – The working group set up to take this work forward has not been able to meet but discussions with MHCLG on whether and how the proposals on exit payments, deferred employers, etc, consulted on in May last year are being progressed.

 

Supreme Court judgement – Members were advised that the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign case was handed down on the 29th April 2020 and were asked to approve a short statement that has earlier been agreed by the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Board agreed publication of the statement that is now on the SAB website at www.lgpsboard.org. The Board also agreed that the Secretariat should work in conjunction with the Board’s legal adviser to prepare a draft summary of the judgement for publication covering the following areas :-

  • Direct effect of the decision
  • Possible indirect impact of the decision, and
  • Other items of interest outside of the decision.

 

Date of next meeting – 10th August 2020 but members were advised that beforehand virtual meetings with the Chairs of both the Board and investment and cost management committees will meet on a regular basis to deal with any urgent business.