Agenda and draft minutes

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Local Pension Board of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme - Monday 17 June 2024 2.00 pm

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Contact: Andy Carswell  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item








Board Members' Disclosures of Interest

(As stipulated by the Public Sector Pensions Act 2013 and set out in Annex A of the Agreed Board Terms of Reference).




Public Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 87 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2024 were approved as an accurate record.


Governance and Policy Update pdf icon PDF 104 KB


The item was introduced by Lisa Eglesfield (Pension Administration Service Manager). She advised there had been no policy updates during the previous quarter. A full discretions document was being created with the help of colleagues in HR and Legal and this would be presented to the Board after it had been taken to the next Staff and Pensions Committee. Arising from the previous meeting, Lisa Eglesfield confirmed the Fund followed the six key processes that would ensure good governance.


Regulations had been updated to reflect changes relating to carers’ leave and the firefighters pension scheme. The payroll system had been amended to reflect these changes. Lisa Eglesfield told members there had been an error relating to revaluation orders for care pension pots, as projected figures had been used in 2021 and 2022 instead of the actual figures. The projected figures were too low, so there would be an increase to the size of pension pots. Administration changes to remedy this would be undertaken by the West Yorkshire Pension Fund on Warwickshire’s behalf. Lisa Eglesfield advised this was a national issue and not one that was unique to Warwickshire.


Regarding McCloud, Lisa Eglesfield said that since the time the report was written immediate choice and RSS had been put on hold while there were outstanding issues with HMRC around the treatment of interest. The interest rate for McCloud cases was set at eight per cent, but HMRC were questioning whether that was a commercial rate and cases relating to unauthorised payments had been put on hold while this was remedied. Cases where it had been established there was no chance of any unauthorised payment could be proceeded with however. There had been ten identified instances of unauthorised payments having been confirmed, of which four related to ill health cases. Members were told there is currently no regulatory provision to allow tax that has already been paid to offset tax which is due under the new calculation.

Lisa Eglesfield reminded members of the second retained exercise, which allowed members of the retained pension scheme to buy back service that previously they had only been able to purchase in the first modified exercise from 1 July 2000 onwards. Similar issues in the McCloud case relating to paying arrears, and whether payments had been authorised or not, were being worked on. The Pension Fund was relying on a calculator issued by the Local Government Association. The LGA had also published a guide to help work out payments related to three of the scenarios associated with the second retained exercise, but a total of 37 different scenarios had been identified. Lisa Eglesfield said strong internal controls needed to be established before any required additional payments were made.


Following a question, it was clarified that payments that could be ten years in arrears would be made in a single payment and there would only be one associated tax payment instead of ten. Helen Scargill (Client Relationship Manager, West Yorkshire Pension Fund) said HMRC would use their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Fire Pensions Administration Update pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:


The item was introduced by Lisa Eglesfield. She reminded members of the number of identified cases from the second modified exercise and said there were around 100 people the Fund had had no contact with. A meeting had been held with a tracing company the previous week to trace addresses, or to establish if a pension holder had passed away. This exercise needed to be completed by April 2025, although there had been an indication from the LGA that this deadline may need to be extended.

There had been no breaches during the quarter referenced in the report. However an issue relating to temporary promotions had been identified, as they were not pensionable benefits and records had not been set up correctly. The LGA had been consulted on how to deal with these and the Fund was liaising with colleagues at West Yorkshire to resolve the issue, but it was anticipated that incorrect payments had been made and this could ultimately lead to some breaches needing to be reported to the pensions regulator. The issue had come to light after West Yorkshire had analysed the data. Previously identified errors had been resolved during a reconciliation exercise that took place in 2022.


The Fund’s payroll team had been working on three different spreadsheets for live, deferred and pensioner members in relation to McCloud. They had then been liaising with the West Yorkshire Pension Fund regarding cases that were either approaching or had reached their RSS deadline. Four ill health members had been written to to inform them of delays, and a further six may need to be contacted. Consideration was being given to referring members affected by RSS to the West Yorkshire Fund’s information portal.


Helen Scargill said training was being offered to employers regarding pensions and these could be registered for online. Feedback from previous training sessions had been limited in numbers but had been positive.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:


Lisa Eglesfield said the forward plan had been updated to reflect the training that had been arranged. Sessions had taken place on pension scams, cyber security and the Pensions Regulator Code of Conduct. Members were encouraged to sign up to the regulator’s training tool kit.


Risk Register pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:


Lisa Eglesfield said the risk register was reviewed every three months. The only item that had been updated during the previous quarter related to fraud and corruption, with the update confirming members had had training on it.


Chair's Annual Report pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The Chair said the report covered the 2022/3 and 2023/4 municipal years. Members noted its contents without comment. It was confirmed the report would be forwarded on to Rob Powell (Executive Director, Resources) as the scheme manager.


Any Other Business


There were no additional items of business to discuss.


Future Meeting Dates

To note future meeting dates as follows:


23 September 2024

4 November 2024

10 February 2025


All meetings to start at 2pm.


Members noted the dates of forthcoming meetings.