Latest news

Staffordshire Pension Fund AGM, 12 November 2019

Please see below three presentations for the AGM:


 

Employer consultation

2019 Actuarial Valuation - Funding Strategy Statement

As part of the 2019 Actuarial Valuation of the Staffordshire Pension Fund, the Fund needs to provide an updated Funding Strategy Statement (FSS) which sets out how it calculates Employer contributions in different circumstances and for different types of organisation. This is revised at each Actuarial Valuation, and the Fund must consult on the proposed changes with all employers.

In summary, changes made to the FSS this time include: 

  • Details of the Actuarial Assumptions for the 2019 Valuation (Appendix E)
     
  • Details on how the Fund will deal with the uncertainty arising from the McCloud ruling (2.7, Table 3.3 note (j))
     
  • Details on the cashflow (HEAT) approach to tracking individual Employer asset shares (D5), including how asset shares are adjusted when an individual member moves from one Employer in the Fund to another (D6)
     
  • Clarifying what it means when an Employer participates in a funding pool      (3.4)
     
  • Clarifying the difference between stabilised Academies and un-stabilised Academies (Table 3.3 note b)).

Please see the draft funding strategy statement for downloading and printing:

If you do have any comments and wish to formally respond to the FSS consultation please do so by 2 December 2019 at the latest.

You can email your response to pensions.comms@staffordshire.gov.uk.


 

LGPS - employer data retention policy

So that we can fulfil its legal obligations in relation to data (as well as paying the correct benefits to current and former employees of each individual Employer, and their beneficiaries), individual Employers are required to adopt certain minimum data retention periods.

To assist Employers, we have been working nationally, with other LGPS Funds and legal advisors Squire Patton Boggs, to produce a template Personal Data Retention Policy for Employers.

The template for the Personal Data Retention Policy sets out the Fund’s expectation of Employers in relation to the retention of personal data that is required by the Fund. The template will need to be tailored by Employers before incorporation into their existing Personal Data Retention Policy.

More detailed information about the Employer’s Data Retention requirements can be found in the template of the Employer Data Retention Policy, copies of which can be accessed using the links below.


 

Employer training event - 25 June 2019

See below the presentations from our training event:


 

LGPS - valuation consultation

On 8 May 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a consultation on changes to the actuarial valuation cycle and the management of employer risk for LGPS funds in England and Wales. The consultation closed on 31 July 2019.

The five key proposals covered by the consultation were:

  • Transitioning local Fund actuarial valuations from 3 yearly to 4 yearly, so that the national LGPS cost management valuation and local LGPS valuations are aligned from 31March 2024 onwards
     
  • Giving Funds the power to carry out 'interim' whole fund valuations between the formal valuation dates in exceptional circumstances, and subject to Secretary of State approval
     
  • To adjust individual employer contribution rates upwards or downwards between fund valuations, subject to published trigger events within the fund's funding strategy statement (FSS)
     
  • Allowing funds more flexibility around the way in which they manage employers that exit the LGPS, by spreading cessation debt repayments or setting up private sector style 'deferred debt' arrangements to ease employer concerns over affordability
     
  • Amending LGPS regulations to allow exit credits to be reduced to nil where a pass-through arrangement is in place
     
  • Removing the requirement for further education, higher education and sixth form college corporations in England to offer new employees access to the LGPS

 

Government consultation - restricting exit payments in the public sector

Consultation closed on 3 July 2019.

You will recall from a previous communication that the government planned to introduce a £95,000 (£95k) cap to exit payments for public sector bodies. The original government proposals were issued in summer 2015. However, on 10 April 2019 the government announced a final consultation which closed on 3 July 2019.

Who does this affect?

This affects most public-sector employers and in the Local Government Pension Scheme has particular relevance for councils (whether metropolitan, county, district, borough or parish) police and fire authorities as well as academies.

What is the exit payment cap?

The cap limits the exit payments made to employees of public sector bodies. The proposed cap of £95K would cover the total value of exit payments (before tax) made by an employer and will include the "strain" cost due to the Pension Fund for early payment of pension as well as redundancy payments, plus any other compensation or severance payments (e.g. pay in lieu of notice, etc.).

Benefits relating to Ill Health Retirement are not affected by the cap

We have attached a link to the governments' consultation, which sets out in detail how the proposed changes will be implemented and the impact they may have on public sector bodies and their employees.

Further information can also be found below:


 

Pension administration strategy - consultation period closed on 21 May 2019

Background

We reviewed and updated the administration strategy, which was then opened for consultation with our employers.

The aim of this strategy is to detail requirements for liaison and communication between employers and the Staffordshire Pension Fund thus ensuring regulatory compliance is achieved and best value service standards are delivered to scheme members and other parties to meet their statutory obligations.

The strategy also seeks to promote good working relationships, improve efficiency and ensure agreed standards of quality in delivery of the pension administration service amongst the employers and the fund.

Please see the draft administration strategy:


 

Local pension board elections - April 2019

The term of office of the current members of the local pensions board is due to come to an end in the Autumn of 2019. 

We are therefore looking for expressions of interest from both employers and individual scheme members who might be interested in standing for election to the local pensions board, as a representative. We are particularly looking for a representative from one of our larger employers or an academy or education establishment and another representative who is an active or deferred member of the Staffordshire Pension Fund.

The role of the local pensions board is to assist the scheme manager (the county council) to secure compliance with the Local Government Pension Service (LGPS) regulations and help to ensure the effective and efficient governance and administration of the LGPS, for the Staffordshire pension fund and its members.

The local pensions board meets quarterly, and all meetings are open to the public. The agendas and minutes of the meetings are published by Staffordshire County Council on its website.