Martin Griffiths (Technical Specialist – Pension Fund Policy and Governance) introduced the report which provided updated governance information relating to Warwickshire Pension Fund’s forward plan, risk monitoring, training, and policy. He requested that the Sub-Committee give specific attention to the Funding Strategy Statement (FSS) which had been issued to employers and members of the Fund as part of an official consultation. He highlighted the changes that had been made to the Risk Monitoring Chart, including an increased residual impact score for climate change. He advised that the Climate Policy was currently being reviewed by Hymans Robertson following a workshop held with officers and advisors. It would be presented to the Sub-Committee for approval in March 2023.
Rob Bilton (Hymans Robertson) provided a summary of the FSS which set out the strategy objectives of the Fund, including measures to secure long-term solvency. The role of Hymans Robertson as the Fund’s actuary was to recommend changes to the FSS where appropriate. He advised that very few changes to the funding strategy had been made following the recent valuation. The principal revision was to introduce a corridor approach for academy schools. This would lead to greater stability of contribution rates. He advised that other material changes to content could be viewed in appendix C, including details of how the Fund would manage climate change risks and appendix D, where the underlying actuarial assumptions have been updated. He stated that it was positive that very few changes to the content of the FSS had been required. The layout of the document had been overhauled to improve its accessibility for stakeholders.
Rob Bilton advised that the appendices to the FSS provided details of specific policies, such as the Fund’s approach for payment of exit credits. He advised that the consultation had been launched at the Fund’s Annual General Meeting in November 2022. Employers and members of the Fund had been asked to submit comments by the end of January 2023. Feedback would be reviewed prior to bringing a finalised version of the FSS to the Sub-Committee in March 2023.
In response to the Chair, Anthony Fletcher (Independent Advisor to the Sub-Committee) advised that he had no specific concerns in relation to the Risk Register. He stated that the Fund had enacted measures to mitigate the harms caused by climate change. However, it was questionable whether net zero carbon by 2050 would be achieved internationally. This would be an area for continued scrutiny and discussion.
Bob Swarup (Independent Advisor to the Sub-Committee) stated that climate change was a key policy consideration. He suggested that risks be set out as clearly and succinctly as possible to limit the likelihood of any risks being overlooked.
Councillor Millar left the meeting at 15.00.
In response to the Chair, Victoria Moffett (Lead Commissioner – Pensions and Investment) advised that the Risk Register was updated on a quarterly basis. It was informed by a review of the Risk Appetite which took place annually. The risk scores determined how the Fund’s resources ... view the full minutes text for item 3