Issue - meetings

Governance, Regulatory and Policy Update

Meeting: 18/07/2023 - Warwickshire Local Pension Board (Item 2)

2 Governance, Regulatory and Policy Update pdf icon PDF 162 KB

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The item was introduced by Martin Griffiths (Technical Specialist, Pension Fund Policy and Governance), who outlined the governance issues affecting the Fund.


Regarding risk monitoring, the items that had previously been marked as red and therefore representing a high risk remained the same. These were climate change, cyber security, and long-term market risks.


Various policies had been reviewed since the last update. Some minor changes had been made to the Investment Strategy Statement by Hymans Robertson, and these were outlined in the report. The Voting and Stewardship Policy and Breaches and Communication Policy had been reviewed but no changes were considered necessary. A new Data Retention Policy had been created. Martin Griffiths explained that this outlined work that had been taking place already but without having been formally encapsulated in a policy in its own right.


Martin Griffiths said the revised General Code of Practice had been due for announcement in June, but the document had still to be released. He said as soon as it was made available the Board members would be informed, and the Fund would ensure it was complying with the updated requirements.


Regarding McCloud, Martin Griffiths said the consultation period had now ended and Warwickshire County Council had agreed with the views submitted by the Local Government Association. It was hoped the new regulations would become law on 1 October. The Fund was continuing to work to ensure it was ready to comply with the new regulations ahead of the anticipated start date.


Members were informed the Extension of Automatic Enrolment had been passed, which meant the age for automatic enrolment onto a pension scheme was lowered from the current age of 22 to 18. The changes would allow young people and low earners to start contributing to their pension earlier and without threshold limitations. This had been introduced as there were concerns many people were under saving for their retirement.


Members’ attention was drawn to the training schedule. Particular attention was drawn to the training that was due to take place on 18 September, covering the role of Committee and Board members and current governance issues. This would be followed in the afternoon by an update on the Border to Coast partnership from the company’s CEO. Members were also reminded of the Fund’s AGM on 24 November at Warwick Racecourse.


Martin Griffiths said there was a vacancy for membership of the Board. There had been some applications and expressions of interest ahead of the deadline of 21 July.


Noting the contents of the Forward Plan, the Chair suggested at some meetings certain topics could be considered more in-depth. He suggested the regular update topics did not necessarily need to be considered every quarter.


Responding to a question from Councillor Ian Shenton, Chris Norton (Strategy and Commissioning Manager - Treasury, Pensions, Audit, Risk & Insurance) said the Fund was moving slightly from growth assets to protection assets and continuing to increase its holdings in private markets. This was being done strategically when there were favourable market  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2