At the previous meeting of the Board, further explanation had been sought on the procedures around reporting and publication of breaches and this report, presented by Vicky Jenks, Pensions Admin Delivery Lead, sought to provide assurance that this aspect of pensions administration was being effectively managed. In particular, the report sought to define what a breach was, how breaches were reported and the escalation process.
The Board Members welcomed the simplification of breaches reporting to the Local Pension Board and Staff and Pensions Committee but some hesitation was expressed about the publication of a summary of anonymised data as some Members considered that this proposal lacked the same level of transparency as the existing detailed breaches log which names specific employers. Officers emphasised that the key issue was the accuracy of recorded data and the timely escalation of breaches together with the focus of resources on the Fund’s objectives. It was noted that ‘naming and shaming’ employers rarely elicited feedback from them and few Funds published this information on their websites. It was hoped that the implementation of the iConnect project would support employers in a way that would limit breaches. Vicky Jenks had prepared a draft procedure note for the Pensions Team to accompany the new arrangements and part of the proposals were to refer breaches to the Local Pension Board and Staff and Pensions Committee, who would continue to have visibility of employer-level information.
Following up on concerns raised at the last meeting by Alan Kidner regarding an entry on the breaches log relating to an incorrect base rate factor, Vicky Jenks informed the Board that this breach was related to the base rate factor not being updated in the system, however, an investigation had been completed, and any payments were rectified.
Resolved – that the Local Pension Board noted the report.