This report, presented by Vicky Jenks, Pensions Admin Delivery Lead, provided an update on key developments affecting pensions administration and the performance of the Pension Administration Service. The report set out the current position with regard to the governance action plan, i-Connect, guaranteed minimum pension reconciliation, key performance indicators, workloads, breaches, tracing service, internal dispute resolution procedure, communication, and preparations for McCloud.
In response to questions regarding the implementation for McCloud, Vicky Jenks advised that there would be a period of data collection prior to the rectification process and there would be approximately one year to make sure all the data is in place in order to assess benefits prior to the regulation change in April 2022. With regard to funding for this project, Liz Firmstone advised that the work was split in two parts - work to manage the implementation of the LGPS and Fire Pension. The proportion relating to the LGPS scheme would be paid for from the Pension Fund and the Fire Service, , would benefit from resources agreed by the Corporate Board.
In terms of workloads, Vicky Jenks acknowledged that virtual training for new members of the team was difficult, sometimes took longer to learn in a digital environment, than to learn processes face to face. However, the team were adapting training methods and providing access to different tools – e.g documenting processes, peer support and mentoring, use of relevant software and online modules. The Board welcomed the personal approach to training.
The Tracing Service had gone through bronze and silver levels and some further analysis would take place before moving to the gold level. This would enable consideration of individual profiles to see if they were due benefits shortly and needed to be traced more urgently than younger members who could be part of a subsequent tracing exercise. Liz Firmstone added that consideration was being given to running tracing on a regular basis although an appropriate frequency needed to be agreed.
In response to comments on the presentation and content of the online breaches log, Vicky Jenks advised that work was taking place to bring this document up to date and improve the format so that it could be more easily updated on a monthly basis. Officers agreed to look into Members’ feedback on the format and traffic light ratings to re-assess the entries to ensure they were properly reflected at the correct rating or escalated as necessary.
Resolved – that the Board noted the report