Liz Firmstone (Service Manager (Transformation) informed the committee of the government consultation which took place in 2020 which focused on McCloud and Sargant and the proposals to remedy the discrimination issues following various legal challenges. Final details from government are yet to be received but should be available early 2021. Preparations need to be started for both the local government pension scheme (LGPS) and the fire pension scheme. The schemes require things to be done differently; the consultation circulated for the fire schemes asked for views on whether members should make an immediate choice following implementation of the remedy, or a deferred choice at the point of retirement, about which scheme they want their benefits to be calculated on to give them least detriment. It was unknown which option central government would opt for. The LGPS was a slightly different proposal as members will be protected by an underpin. The approach states that all scheme membership benefits need to be reviewed. This will affect 25-30% of members and require a lot of resources from the pension and payroll teams. It will also affect all 190 employers in the LGPS. The Pension Fund will need to pay for costs relating to the LGPS. The extra resources needed to deal with the fire pension schemes had been obtained and governance arrangements will be implemented for data to start being collected in January 2021.
In response to Councillor Dirveiks, it was clarified that Corporate Board have approved the business case and funding and that a procurement process is being progressed. Liz Firmstone added that final resource requirements can only be confirmed once all the data is collected.
Following a question from Councillor Gifford, Liz Firmstone replied that seven extra staff members in pension team and four in the payroll are estimated be needed over a 12-month period to review the LGPS cases.
That the Staff and Pensions Committee note and comment on the report.