This report, presented by Vicky Jenks, Pensions Admin Delivery Lead, provided an update on the key developments affecting pensions administration and the performance of the Pensions Administration Service, including the governance action plan, i-Connect project, Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) reconciliation, pensions increase, key performance indicators, workloads, the McCloud project, exit payments, commencement of the annual benefits statements project, Pensions Schemes Bill/Act 2021 and employers joining and leaving the Fund.
In response to a question Vicky Jenks clarified that the iConnect system would enable providers to use their existing payrolls to upload their data from a portal directly into the system and it did not involve the introduction of a new payroll system.
Responding to a question from Mike Snow on the actuarial strains in relation to exit payments (paragraphs 11.5-11.6 of the report), Vicky Jenks responded that the scheme was administered for different employers but there had not been any cases where the cap had been exceeded so no adjustments had been required. The situation would be monitored going forward and any information given would be caveated accordingly. Vicky Jenks advised that Hymans Robertson supplied strain costs based on Warwickshire and noted that the cost to employers of members leaving the scheme could vary between pension funds, due to the different local factors taken into account; the GAD factors created a more level playing field in this respect.
For the benefit of the Board, the Chair asked for an explanation of the proposal for a pensions dashboard. Vicky Jenks advised that there was a national programme to create a pensions dashboard where every member could log in to a portal and see all their pension benefits and data in one place. With hundreds of providers, portals and identification processes, this was a complex project with an implementation timescale of 2023. The current stage was understanding the required ICT and security implications, getting the data right and getting it accessible to the right people.
With regard to key performance indicators, Vicky Jenks confirmed that the team had been dealing with the workload for iConnect submissions and were therefore catching up on deferred benefits. The failure to meet the indicator was considered a blip and there should be no ongoing continuance.
Resolved – that the Local Pension Board noted the report.