Local Pension Board- Update from the ChairmanNovember 4, 2016
What is the Pension Board’s function?
Every Public Service pension scheme is required to have a Pension Board. The role of the Board is to help to ensure that the scheme complies with governance and administrative requirements – in other words to see that the scheme is working properly in accordance with its own rules and for the benefit of its members.
Who are the people on the Shropshire County Pension Board?
All Pension Boards have to have an equal number of employer representatives and
member representatives – and there has to be a minimum of four Board members in total.
The Shropshire Pension Board has four representatives, and they are:
Stuart Wheeler – who is an employer representative and who is the Head of Human Resources, Marketing and Communications at Severnside Housing.
Liz Furey – who is the Director of Finance at Harper Adams University, and Liz is an
Pat Hockley – who has an extensive career background in contract management and commissioning. Pat is a member representative.
Mike Morris – who is also a member representative, and Chair of the Pension Board, and whose background is financial management and Commissioning.
These four Board members are supported by Shropshire County Pension Fund and Administrative staff who provide detailed updates on legislation, as well as reports and responses to any information which the Board calls for.
How often does the Pension Board meet- and where?
As you would expect, the Pensions Regulator gives us clear guidance on the content and amount of training and knowledge that a Pension Board member must have.
The Board takes its training responsibilities very seriously and each of the four members attends regular training updates, both at the Shirehall and also at special training events designed specifically for Pension Board members. These are delivered regionally and nationally, usually though the Local Government Association.
What are the costs of running the Pension Board?
The four Board members are not paid a salary for their Pension Board work. They can reclaim expenses for attending Pension Board and training meetings. They can also receive a standard meeting allowance for attendance in line with Shropshire Councillors agreed rates – if they choose to do so.
What subjects has the Board been looking at over the past year?
As well as receiving updates on legislative and administrative regulations the Board receives administration updates from the Shropshire Pensions administration team and reviews reports received from the Shropshire County Pensions Committee.
The Board also can request special reports on any issue which it wishes to examine in detail.
Over the past year these have included:
- A report on communication and safeguarding of hard to reach groups
- An update on the valuation of the Shropshire County Pension Scheme
- A report on the early implications and impact of Brexit on the Pension Fund
- An update on the current and future training needs of the Shropshire Board members
- Continuing reports on pension related complaints- and their resolution
There are no restrictions on the questions or topics the Pension Board member can ask- or the reports it can call for. All of the board agendas and public reports are available online and can be accessed via the Fund’s website.
What does the future hold for the Pension Board?
Firstly, Board members will need to continually update their knowledge – particularly in the light of changing regulations – and the implications and results of economic and social changes over next few years.
Also, the forthcoming LGPS ‘pooling’ arrangements, will be closely scrutinised by the Pensions Committee and the Pension Board particularly during the transition phases. More information on the LGPS pooling project can be found on the Fund website.
Board members will continue to attend the meetings of the Shropshire County Pension Committee. The Board are not members of the Pensions Committee – nor do they seek to influence it – but they do act as informed observers.
The Board has a particularly busy year ahead and wishes to encourage pension fund
members to take an active interest in its meetings and reports.