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Agenda and minutes

GMFRS Local Pensions Board - Firefighters Pension Scheme
Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015 2.00 pm

Venue: CLT Meeting Room, Fire Service Headquarters, 146 Bolton Road, Swinton, M27 8US. View directions

Contact: Donna Parker, Democratic Services Manager  Email:  parkerd@manchesterfire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Paul Etches, Employees’ Side Representative.

 

10.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

Gary Keary, Employee’ Representative, advised that in his opinion ‘Minute 5 – Draft Terms of Reference for the Local Pensions’ Board For Greater Manchester Firefighters Pensions Scheme (DPOD)’ was not an accurate record of the meeting.

 

He advised that at the meeting he had requested confirmed on if there would be a conflict of interest with the role of the Chairman of the Authority being an employers’ side representative on the Local Pensions’ Board taking into account his role in the IDRP process. At the last meeting Alyson Hall, Scheme Manager confirmed that Councillor David Acton had been appointed to take the position of ‘Elected Member’ representing the employers’ side of the Local Pensions’ Board and in doing so there, was no conflict of interest between this role and his role in the IDRP process.

 

He also advised that at the meeting a detailed discussion had taken place on the employees’ side representation on the Local Pensions’ Board being split equally between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Fire Officers Association (FOA). The FBU felt that this did not take into consideration the difference in membership between the two trade union bodies, and recommended that a democratic approach was taken to electing employee’ side representatives. In response, at the meeting Alyson Hall, Scheme Manager, suggested that expressions of interest could be sought from all members of the Fire Pension Schemes’ and that a selection process, which had been approved by the Board Members would consider ‘expressions of interest’ received. In response, this was discussed in detail by the Scheme Manager and Board Members’ and it was agreed that the membership of the Board remained as the existing 4 members for the time being until the National Advisory Board was formed and advice had been sought.

 

Gary Keary, employees’ side representative, circulated a copy of a letter that he had received from Alyson Hall, Scheme Manager dated 31st July 2015, confirming the above.

 

In addition, the Board were advised that Ged Murphy, Director of Finance and Technical Services at the meeting of the Authority on 3rd September 2015 had been appointed as Scheme Manager to the Firefighter’s Pension Schemes Pension Board to replace the Director of People and Organisation Development. It was approved that the delegated responsibility for fulfilling the role of Scheme Manager was given to the Director of Finance and Technical Services on an interim basis pending the review of the Senior Management Team, and the People and Organisation Development and Finance and Technical Services Departments.

 

AGREED: That:

 

1.  The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th July 2015, be confirmed as a correct record, subject to the amendment to ‘Minute 5 – Draft Terms of Reference for the Local Pensions’ Board For Greater Manchester Firefighters Pensions Scheme (DPOD)’, as detailed above.

 

2.  The membership of the Board remained as the existing 4 members for the time being until the National Advisory Board was formed and advice had been sought.

 

11.

Declaration of any Conflicts of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest submitted.

 

12.

Appointment of Chairman for 2015/16

Minutes:

AGREED: That Paul Argyle, Deputy County Fire Officer and employers’ side representative, be appointed as the Chairman of the Local Pensions’ Board for the 2015/16 municipal year.

 

At this point in the meeting Paul Argyle, took the Chair.

 

13.

GMFRS Local Pension Board Draft Corporate Governance Documents for Consideration and Adoption:- pdf icon PDF 196 KB

1.  Draft Terms of Reference

2.  Draft Conflicts of Interest Policy

3.  Draft Declarations of Interest Form

4.  Draft Member Training Policy and Framework

5.  Draft Local Pension Board Members Training Needs Analysis

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scheme Manager presented the following Corporate Governance documents for consideration and approval by the Local Pensions’ Board:-

 

a)  Draft Terms of Reference;

b)  Draft Conflict of Interest Policy;

c)  Draft Declarations of Interest Form;

d)  Draft Member Training Policy and Framework;

e)  Draft Local Pensions’ Board Member Training Needs Analysis.

 

After a detailed discussion it was agreed that the Draft Terms of Reference should be amended as follows:-

 

3. Length of term and removal

 

Paragraph 3.1 – The word ‘shall’ to be replaced by the word ‘should’.

 

4. Quorum

 

Paragraph 4 – To be amended to read as following:-

 

‘The Board shall have a formal quorum of 3 members.

 

‘It is vital that all 4 appointed members endeavour to attend all meetings that will be scheduled and notified in advance. In the event that a quorum is not met then a nominated named substitute shall be called upon’.

 

Actions

 

It was agreed that the Scheme Manager in consultation with the Chairman of the Board would establish an ‘Expression of Interest’ process to recruit an employee named substitute to the Board. The appointment of an employer named substituted would be raised at a future meeting of the Corporate Leadership Team.

 

The Fire Officers Association was requested to confirm the name of the representative on the Local Pensions’ Board by the next meeting.

 

The Democratic Services Manager was requested to create an ‘Action Sheet’ to be populated and updated as required and submitted to all future Board Meetings for consideration.

 

With reference to Paragraph 1.2 of the Terms of Reference it was agreed that the Board would submit an annual report to the October meeting of the Authority going forward with the first report being submitted in October 2016. A copy of the draft report would be submitted to the September meeting of the Board for consideration prior to being submitted to the Authority.

 

After a detailed discussion it was agreed that the Draft Local Pensions’ Board Member Training Needs Analysis should be progressed for the 2015/16 municipal year. The Democratic Services Manager would send a copy of the Training Needs Analysis to each of the Board Members requesting them to complete the form and return it by the end of October 2015. This would enable Penny Wright, Pension Administrator, to create and submit a Training and Development Programme to the next meeting of the Board.

 

AGREED: That:

 

1.  The draft Terms of Reference, as detail at Appendix 1, be approved, subject to the changes as detailed above.

 

2.  The draft Conflict of Interest Policy, as detailed at Appendix 2, be approved.

 

3.  The draft Declarations of Interest Form as detailed at Appendix 3, be approved.

 

4.  The draft Member Training Policy and Framework, as detailed at Appendix 4, be approved.

 

5.  The draft Local Pensions’ Board Training Needs Analysis, as detailed at Appendix 5, be approved.

 

6.  The 4 Board Members complete the Training Needs Analysis and return the form to the Democratic Services Manager by the end of October  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Lump Sum Factor Changes (P. Wright)

Minutes:

Penny Wright, Pension Administrator, advised that a recent court ruling meant that GMFRA was required to meet back dated revised lump sum and pension costs of firefighters that had retired between 2001 and 2006. A reliable estimate could not be provided at this stage due to the complexity of the calculations, however, the cost once fully assessed would be funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government in the form of an additional top-up grant.

 

All retired firefighters who were affected by this court ruling would be written to by December 2015 detailing reimbursement, if the retired firefighter retuned the signed declaration form accepting the payment in full and final settlement then payment would be made by April 2016. Within GMFRS this ruling affected approximately 450 retired firefighters’.

 

AGREED: That the update be noted and further updates would be provided accordingly.

 

15.

Chairman of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (FPS) National Advisory Board - For Information (P. Wright) pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

Penny Wright, Pensions Administrator, advised that the post of Chairman of the Firefighters’ Pension Board National Advisory Board had now been advertised. The close date for applications was 25th September 2015.

 

Board Members were advised that the Firefighters’ Pension Board National Advisory Board would have 14 members who represent both the employer and members’ side of the fire service in equal number. There would be 7 employee representatives, split with 4 seats to the Fire Brigades Union and 1 each to the Fire Officers Association, Retained Firefighters’ Union and Association of Principal Fire Officers and 7 employer representatives representing both type of Fire authority and political balance. The members and the Chairman of the Board would be would be appointed by the Secretary of State under advice from a selection panel.

 

AGREED: That the update be noted.

 

16.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There were no items of any other business raised.

 

17.

Date of Next Meeting: 17 February 2016 at 2.00pm

Minutes:

AGREED: That the next meeting of the Local Pensions’ Board be held on 17th February 2016 at 2.00pm in the CLT Room.