The report and appendix are attached.
Andrew Felton (Assistant Director, Finance) introduced the item, stating that the Pension Fund was in a good position leading into the end of the financial year. He advised that the Pension Fund was a long-term investment consideration, managed over a 19-year period. As a result, short-term impacts, such as coronavirus, could be effectively controlled. He stated that the pandemic had brought about an initial drop to 2016 valuation levels (approximately 82%), however by the end of the first quarter, levels had recovered to around 86%. Concerns remained in respect of the prospect of a second wave of the virus.
The Chair drew attention to the Executive Summary of the report which provided details of the net assets of the scheme alongside membership details. He commented that it was equally important for details of liabilities and deficit to be stated.
Councillor Gifford stated that the value of the deficit could potentially have a serious effect, leading to the Authority being required to raise its contributions to the scheme.
The Chair observed that, in periods of uncertainty, government reforms to the prescribed schedule for repair of deficits could not be ruled out; the prospect of addressing the deficit within a more compressed period could pose significant financial challenges.
Chris Norton (Strategy and Commissioning Manager – Treasury, Pension, Audit & Risk) stated that the Authority’s assumptions in respect of the size of the deficit tended to be prudent estimates.
That the Committee notes the 2019/20 Pension Fund Statement of Accounts and recommends it to Council for approval.