Last updated: 2 November 2023
Staffordshire Pension Fund's annual general meeting 2023
Staffordshire Pension Fund will hold its next AGM on Monday 13 November 2023, commencing at 2.00pm and concluding around 4.00pm. The Agenda will include:
- Presentation of the draft Annual Report and Accounts for year ending 31 March 2023
- Investment and LGPS Central Pool update
- Administration Update
- Actuarial Update
This will be a hybrid meeting and will be held on Microsoft Teams and at the Oak Room, County Buildings. If you would like to attend, please email:
Please also confirm if you plan to attend in person or via Microsoft Teams, so we can email you the link. For those attending in person, light refreshments will be provided from 1.30pm.
Actuarial Valuation 2022 and the Funding Strategy Statement (FSS) Consultation
As part of an Actuarial Valuation, best practice dictates that there should also be a review of a Pension Fund's Funding Strategy Statement (FSS).
A general review has been carried out of Staffordshire Pension Fund's FSS, in line with the 2022 Actuarial Valuation, and the opportunity to make recommended changes has been taken. These include a review of the structure and layout of the FSS and improved accessibility and navigation for stakeholders.
Whilst there have been no significant changes to the funding strategy at the 2022 Actuarial Valuation, the new draft FSS now includes separate policies on:
- Academy funding;
- Passthrough arrangements; and
- Cessations, including a revised "risk based" approach, where applicable.
The main changes to highlight include:
- An increase in the full funding time horizon for Academies to 20 years (previously 15 years);
- Minor changes to the passthrough admissions process; and
- the fact that climate-related risks have been considered when setting the funding strategy.
The new draft FSS can be found below and is open for a period of consultation with all stakeholders and interested parties until 31 January 2023. Any comments or questions you might have on the new draft FSS should be submitted to email@example.com.
Considering all comments received, the final FSS will be approved by the Pensions Committee at their meeting on 31 March 2023.
- Draft Funding Strategy Statement 2022 (1281 KB)
Staffordshire Pension Fund's annual general meeting 2022
The Staffordshire Pension Fund's latest AGM was held on 15 November 2022 and once again proved to be a very successful event. Presentations were made by Fund Officers and Hyman’s Robertson (the Fund Actuary) and covered the following:
- Presentation of the draft 2021/22 Annual Report and Accounts
- Investment and LGPS Central Pool update
- Administration Update
- 2022 Actuarial Valuation Results update by the Fund’s Actuary – Hymans Robertson
To further assist Employers our Actuary also provided the following short videos
Full copies of the AGM presentations are available here:
Pensions Awareness 2022 - Update
We have received confirmation from the National Pensions Awareness campaign that following the very sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the decision has been taken to pause all campaign activity until the conclusion of the period of mourning.
It is planned to postpone all Pensions Awareness activities until the 31 October - 4 November 2022.
We will send an update once the arrangements for this are confirmed.
Pensions Awareness 2022
You may recall in our August Employer Focus Newsletter we; we highlighted the National Pension Awareness week from 12 to 16 September 2022. The Staffordshire Pension Fund supports this important initiative and is providing Pensions Awareness links on our website and in our email correspondence.
However, to further assist us, and to help improve your Employees' understanding of the importance of pensions provision, we would very much appreciate your assistance in cascading the message in the document below via your internal email system, intranet site, news bulletins, notice boards etc. The Pension Awareness campaign has also produced promotional items, such as posters and leaflets, which are free for Employers to download on the Pensions Awareness Day website and you may also wish to incorporate some of these.
Investments in Russia and Belarus
Staffordshire Pension Fund estimated that less than 0.1% of its c£6.8bn investment portfolio, at 31 January 2022, was invested in Russian companies, principally through the Fund’s allocation to global equity index funds. There were no investments in companies in Belarus.
At their meeting on 1 March 2022, the Staffordshire Pensions Panel agreed that a letter would be sent to the Fund’s Investment Managers discouraging any further investments in Russia and Belarus. Since then, the Russian market has been effectively closed to foreign investors and FTSE, and many other index providers, have deleted Russian investments from their indices at zero value, which has reduced the Fund’s relatively small exposure to Russia even further. Fund Officers are discussing the options for unwinding any remaining residual exposure (estimated to be less than 0.05% of Fund assets) with the relevant Investment Managers.
LGPS Central Limited, as the Fund’s asset pool provider, have also requested managers refrain from making any further investments in Russia and Belarus and have recently issued a press release on the matter.
The Fund and its Investment Managers will continue to monitor the situation during this period of uncertainty.
Important Message – Limited Staffordshire Pension Fund Services from 17.00 hours on 11 March 2022 to 16 March 2022
Staffordshire Pension Fund has a major pensions system infrastructure update scheduled to commence at the end of normal business hours on Friday 11 March 2022. Our aim is to resume normal pensions service provision sometime during business hours on 16 March 2022.
We have planned the systems update to include the weekend of 12-13 March 2022, as this will lessen the impact on service delivery for both Employers and Scheme Members, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. However the update to the system is essential and will result in longer term benefits for us all.
In the short period of disruption to pensions services, this will mean that:
- The Pensions Team will not have full access to the pensions software, they will be able to view members records but will not be able to process calculations and benefits due.
- Employers who use i-Connect will not be able to submit payroll information through the i-Connect portal, as this will not be available.
- Scheme Members will not be able to access My Pensions Portal (MPP) to run their own pensions estimates, view their pension records including Annual Benefit Statements, or update personal information on line.
The Staffordshire Pension Fund website including the My Pension Portal (MPP) webpage, will be updated with details of the limited service during the affected period, however, we would be grateful if you could cascade this information Employees within your organisation, in advance of 11 March 2022, to make them aware. The website will remain accessible throughout the systems update, to provide general information about Pensions and the Staffordshire Pension Fund.
Pensions Forum Annual General Meeting 2021
The Pensions Forum Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 2 November 2021. This year, the meeting was held virtually via Microsoft Teams. The agenda, previous minutes and slides are available here.
Pensions Forum AGM 2021 (4.69MB)
Staffordshire Pension have been running a number of training events for employers through Microsoft Teams. Copies of the presentations from the first two events can be found below:
Please look out for emails and notifications in our Focus Newsletter about future Events.
If you have a subject matter you would particularly like us to cover or wish to discuss an event you have organised for staff , that you would like us to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of our previous training sessions and copies of the presentation slides can be viewed:
Draft funding strategy statement - employer consultation closes 18 May 2021
All Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Funds are required to prepare, maintain, and publish a funding strategy statement (FSS). The FSS must be kept under review and revised from time to time and at least every three years.
The last full review of the FSS was undertaken as part of the 2019 actuarial valuation and following a period of consultation the FSS was approved and published in June 2020.
However, as a result of LGPS regulatory updates on 23 September 2020, further changes are required to the FSS to reflect:
- the approach to be taken by the Fund in dealing with the uncertainty arising from the Goodwin court case
- an explanation of the circumstances under which the Fund might amend contribution rates between valuations
- detail in relation to the payment of a cessation debt and the considerations that the Fund will make before paying an exit credit in line with their exit credit
- the circumstances in which the Fund will enter into a deferred debt agreement (DDA) as an alternative to the payment of an immediate cessation debt
Following the new regulations coming into force, the Fund's FSS sets out the steps taken to incorporate the new regulatory requirements.
The draft statement was endorsed by Pension Fund Committee on 26 March 2021.
The final version of the FSS is subject to the outcome of a period of consultation with employers and other fund stakeholders.
The draft funding strategy statement is available on our website.
Please take time to:
- look through the draft policy
- consider how it may impact on your organisation as a participating employer in the Fund
- submit any views and comments you may have via the consultation
The consultation is open until 18 May 2021.
If you wish to submit a response or have any queries please email email@example.com with "Funding Strategy Statement" as the subject title of your email.
Exit credits policy
In April 2018, the government announced a change to LGPS regulations to allow exit credits to be paid to employers for the first time.
Exit credits arise when an employer is leaving the LGPS, and an actuarial assessment shows their pension liabilities have been overfunded and there is a funding surplus at the date of exit. Prior to this change, no exit credits were payable, but employers were responsible for meeting any funding shortfall on exit.
In the months after exit credits were introduced, concerns were raised about unforeseen impacts, specifically where employers had outsourced services or functions and had included specific pensions risk provisions in service agreements. It became clear that service providers were becoming entitled to exit credits where this was not the intention of the employer when the services were tendered, and service agreements made.
In May 2019, the government launched a further consultation on amending the exit credit provisions, to enable an LGPS administering authority to consider a range of factors in determining whether an exit credit is payable, including the level of pension risk that an employer or service provider has borne.
The final outcome of the consultation was announced in February 2020, and has been implemented via the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (the amending regulations), which came into effect on 20 March 2020.
Staffordshire Pension Fund consulted with its employers on its exit credits policy and it has been published on our website.
Fund's annual general meeting 2020
The Fund's slightly delayed 2020 AGM was held on 23 February 2021 and once again proved to be a very successful event. Presentations were made by Fund officers and Hymans Robertson (the Fund actuary) and covered the following:
- presentation of the 2019/20 annual report and accounts
- general Pension Fund administration and investment updates
- actuarial update by the Fund's actuary - Hymans Robertson
Full copies of the AGM presentations are available below for you to print out: