Agenda item

Pensions Administration Update


Liz Firmstone, Service Manager (Transformation) presented the report to the Board.  It was noted that the report brings a broad picture of the activity completed by the pension administrators.


The Board noted that there had been one recorded breach since the last meeting.  The breach was a minor breach and had been resolved.  There was no requirement for it to be reported.


In relation to internal disputes, it was noted that there have been three cases since October 2020.  They have all been investigated with two not upheld and one being dealt with internally by HR.


In relation to McCloud/Sergeant, the Board noted that following consultation, the Government had announced that members will not have to choose options until they leave.  These means that members will have the information to make the right decision.  This is a good outcome.


It was noted that with reference to Immediate detriment, the Home Office has recently provided guidance, some of which was challenged in the courts but this has not been successful.  It was confirmed that officers are waiting to hear if there will be appeals, although this is unlikely.  Officers will revisit calculations to ensure that everything is correct.


The Chair raised a question in relation to the guidance and if it will include specific information about immediate ill health retirement and if it will this be across legacy schemes?  It was confirmed that Liz Firmstone will investigate and report back at a future meeting.


Section 8 of the report related to data performance scores and it was noted that the scores compare well with others.  There have been some issues with data in relation to legacy schemes but work is in progress to improve the performance score in this area.  It was noted that advice is expected from the LGA in relation to legacy cases and how to proceed where data is missing or incorrect.  The Board noted that access to older pay systems is still available and that this should help.


Following a question from the Chair, it was confirmed that Liz Firmstone will investigate if the missing data is all from one area and feedback to the Board at a future meeting.


Following a question from Councillor Dave Reilly it was confirmed that administrators can hold data from a range of sources and that this has been validated and verified by legal officers.


In relation to the outsourcing of administration, it was confirmed that work is in progress to ensure that the quality of the date is high before anything is outsources.


The Board noted that Shropshire have expressed an interest in sharing the tendering process for the outsourcing. Reassurance was given that the sharing process will not delay Warwickshire’s plan.  The Board noted that 1 April 2022 is the planned go-live date for the outsourcing project.


Barnaby Briggs stated that the national fire procurement framework would allow Shropshire to benefit from the process undertaken by Warwickshire.   The Board noted that it was unclear at the moment if Shropshire were interesting in sharing the procurement process or in having a shared contract.  The Chair advised caution in starting a new contract at the start of a financial year.


It was confirmed that in relation to O’Brien/Matthews case, an update would be prepared for the next meeting.  O’Brien/Matthews related to a 2006 modified scheme for part time working settlements.

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