Chris Norton (Strategy and Commissioning Manager (Treasury, Pension, Audit & Risk) introduced the report and stated that the report focused on the fund proactively looking at risks around employer financial viability, i.e. their contributions to the pension fund. Policies were already in place to address these risks, so the funding strategy statement was already in place which set out how to deal with employer contributions regarding their risk level. A document which set out roles and responsibilities between the fund and employers was in place, but the report set out the outcome of the review which had been undertaken in response to Covid-19 and the risk it presented. These actions will allow officers to take a risk-based approach to individual employers where necessary, and review contribution rates between valuations. Steps that will need following up after this include reviewing the admission agreements to ensure they are fit for purpose, undertaking a risk base set of actions with at risk employers and reviewing security arrangements.
In response to Councillor Gifford, Chris Norton confirmed that the fund remains in frequent contact with at risk employers and despite the pandemic there was nothing systematic expressing itself in the activity.
The Staff and Pensions Committee comment on and approve the pension fund’s policy and approach to assessing the covenant of employers in the Pension Fund.