Vicky Jenks introduced the item and explained the report outlined what the administration team had been working on. A lot of work had been taking place preparing and testing the new member self-service, which would allow members to access their annual benefit statements online. Much of this entailed setting up account profile details for members. Vicky Jenks drew members’ attention to the key performance indicators listed in the report, which explained why some of them were off target. The report also noted recorded breaches, progress being made in relation to McCloud, and the guaranteed minimum pension reconciliation exercise.
Members said it would have been beneficial if the pages containing the key performance indicators and breaches had been printed in colour, as it was harder to tell which were rated as red, amber or green. Vicky Jenks said there had been an increase in the number of green breaches reported in January. She explained however that this related to one payroll provider that was responsible for the payrolls in a large number of schools; although the increase looked as though it was a significant issue, it had been caused by a single provider and had been relatively straightforward to combat.
Responding to a question from Jeff Carruthers regarding communication about the self-service scheme, Vicky Jenks said a plan was being developed and would be rolled out to all employers in due course. Priority for the rollout was being given to deferred members as they tended to receive their annual benefit statements first. Jeff Carruthers said he would like to have any communications sent out so it could be sent round staff at his employer.
Responding to a point raised by the Chair in relation to the guaranteed minimum pension reconciliation scheme, Vicky Jenks said it was anticipated more users would get back in touch with the Fund as they approached pensionable age. The introduction of the pensions dashboard had been helpful in reuniting members with their pensions. The next phase of the project would be to communicate to members how they could access the self-service portal to deal with their queries. The Chair raised the point that some users may have more than one pension pot under multiple schemes, and said the dashboard was a useful tool to help people with any questions they had and would prevent staff at the Pension Fund from becoming overwhelmed dealing with queries.
Mike Snow noted that some overpayments were due to be written off during the reconciliation process and asked for details on what values were involved. Vicky Jenks said there had been around 800 overpayments totalling approximately £2million. Approval for writing off the overpayments was being sought from the Leader of the Council. Liz Firmstone added that the recommendation given to all local authorities was not to try and recover overpayments. Vicky Jenks said some of the overpayments for pensions had come about because the information held by the Pension Fund and HMRC did not match up, which the Fund members would not ... view the full minutes text for item 7