Issue - meetings

Pension Fund Business Plan 2024/25

Meeting: 04/03/2024 - Staff and Pensions Committee (Item 4)

4 Pension Fund Business Plan 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Martin Griffiths (Technical Specialist – Pension Fund Policy and Governance) introduced this report which sought the Committee’s approval of the Pension Fund Business Plan for 2024/25. He advised that it was best practice for pension funds to have a formal documented Business Plan in place. This was not only for the benefit of the Fund to demonstrate compliance with the relevant codes, but also for stakeholders to provide an indication of the Fund’s aims and objectives for the year ahead. He advised that the Business Plan complemented the other key documents which governed the strategy and operation of the Fund, including the Investment Strategy and Funding Strategy. He highlighted the governance elements of the Business Plan which formed the main areas of focus for the year ahead. This would enable implementation of the requirements of the Scheme Advisory Board Good Governance Review and the Pensions Regulators General Code of Practice. Preparation for the introduction of the Pensions Dashboard and implementation of the McCloud remedy were also key areas of focus.

 

In response to Councillor Kettle, Martin Griffiths advised that there were no issues of the magnitude of the McCloud Judgement on the horizon. There were some national pensions administration issues which would require attention; however, these affected a much smaller number of members.

 

Liz Firmstone (Head of Finance Transformation and Transactions) advised that preparation for the introduction of the Pensions Dashboard was the next large-scale project for the Pensions Administration Team. A Business Plan was being prepared to determine how to manage the anticipated workload. This would include consideration of whether additional resources would be needed to support delivery of the project.

 

In response to Councillor Hammersley, Martin Griffiths advised that the Triennial Valuation had been successfully completed to ensure that sufficient income could be generated to cover any shortfall between contributions, benefits, and expenses. Work was underway with employers to implement any required changes to contribution rates.

 

Councillor Millar stated that it was promising that the Business Plan included climate change commitments. She emphasised that the Fund was a long-term investment vehicle. There was a need to ensure that the Fund could fulfil its fiduciary duties which encompassed making investment choices which contributed to mitigating climate change. She praised the inclusion of further development of ESG monitoring for climate change actions within the Business Plan. This was an area of growing importance following recommendations by the Transition Plan Taskforce and International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) which would strengthen expectations for reporting by companies on carbon impacts.

 

Councillor Kettle moved that the recommendation be accepted and was seconded by Councillor Millar. This was supported unanimously by the Committee.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Staff and Pension Committee approves the Business Plan as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.