Neil Buxton introduced the report and stated the amended regulations were implemented in September 2020 and were focused on greater flexibility for employers leaving the pension fund and for the fund to revisit employer contribution rates between valuations. The regulations enable the fund to spread out the exit payments for unfunded liabilities over a longer period. The regulations also allowed an employer to become a deferred employer, which meant that they could continue contributing to the fund even if they no longer have any active members. The revisiting of employer contributions focused on changes, for example if an employer is having difficulties through the Covid-19 pandemic they could approach the fund and request a change to the amount that the employer pays into the fund. Statutory guidance from central government will be needed to implement this. Once this has been received and assessed along with the guidance from the Scheme Advisory Board, the funding strategy statements, admissions and termination policy will be amended and presented to the March 2021 meeting.
The Staff and Pensions Committee notes and comments on the report.