Constitution - Part 2H - Pensions Committee



1.1 The Pensions Committee is responsible for carrying out the Council's functions as the delegated decision making body of the Administering Authority for the management of the Cumbria Local Government Pension Scheme ("the Pension Fund") which includes its involvement in the Border to Coast Pension Partnership (BCPP) as the Council's approved Pension Pool.

2.2 The functions of the Pensions Committee are to:

(a) Submit the Pension Fund Accounts to the Council in line with current Financial Standing Orders.

(b) Submit reports to the Council (as a minimum three times a year) updating it on the governance, risk monitoring and performance of the Pension Fund following meetings of the Committee.

(c) Receive and where necessary instruct corrective action, in response to both internal and external auditor reports.

(d) Approve the formal triennial actuarial valuation of the Pension Fund, with due consideration being given to the desirability of maintaining as nearly constant a common contribution rate as possible and the requirement to secure the solvency of the Pension Fund.

(e) Approve the investment or disinvestment in any assets of the portfolio where the assets meet the criteria set out in the Fund's asset allocation strategy.

(f) Annually review (as a minimum) and approve any amendments to the statutory policy statements as required by Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations.

(g) Annually review the Investment Strategy Statement and oversee the performance of all investment managers in the delivery of the Investment Strategy.

(h) To oversee compliance by the Council in its capacity as shareholder of BCPP Limited and to determine the Council's position as shareholder on decisions of the company that are reserved to the shareholders.

(i) Produce and maintain an Administration and Communications Policy for the Pension Scheme for the admission of employing bodies as contributors to the Scheme; that fulfils all communication and consultation requirements with employers of the Scheme.

(j) Prior to the commencement of the financial year to approve an annual business plan and associated budget for that year to cover all matters of expenditure to be charged to the Pension Fund. To review performance against this throughout the year.

(k) Approve and annually review the Pension Fund's training policy to ensure those charged with the management of the Fund (members and officers of the County Council) are appropriately experienced and qualified.

(l) Receive minutes and consider recommendations from and ensure the effective performance of the Pension Forum, BCPP Joint Committee, Pensions Investment Sub-Group and the Cumbria Local Pensions Board.

(m) Formulate and review tolerance ranges to delegate to the Pensions Investment Sub-Group to allow them to implement tactical changes to the investment strategy or asset allocation. Maintain and review an appropriate management and governance structure of the Pensions Investment Sub-Group to achieve the effective delivery of the Pension Fund objectives.

(n) Contribute nationally to the development of policy and regulation in regards to the Local Government Pension Scheme and wider public sector pensions policy.

3.1 The Pensions Committee is a committee constituted under Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 therefore key functions and terms of the Committee, including the following, are as detailed elsewhere in the Constitution:

(a) Appointment of the chair / vice chair;

(b) Reimbursement of members allowances;

(c) Quoracy;

(d) Code of conduct;

(e) Conflicts of interest; and

(f) Publication and data protection.

3.2 In addition to these, to ensure compliance with pension-specific regulations and guidance, the functions and terms of reference of the Pensions Committee also include:-

Knowledge and Understanding

(a) To ensure that members involved in the governance and monitoring of the Pension Fund meet the requisite knowledge and skills requirements. A general level of attendance at meetings and training events is required.

(b) Nominated substitutes are permitted to represent members at meetings provided that they have completed the minimum training requirement as set out in the Pension Funds training policy.

Creation of Working Parties / Sub-Groups

(a) The Committee have the delegated authority to establish working parties / sub-groups to more effectively consider matters in more detail, these working groups will have no power to make decisions.
(b) Sub-Groups which have delegated decision making powers can only be established with the approval of Council.

Role of Advisors

(a) The Committee is required to ensure all members have access to appropriate professional advice and representation prior to making any decisions concerning the general management of the Pension Fund.
(b) To assist in the above the Committee will be required to appoint industry specific advisors to enable it to fulfil its obligations e.g. fund actuary; tax specialists; etc. these contracts are to be awarded through the Councils normal procurement process and once appointed will be managed on behalf of the Committee by the Section 151 Officer.

(c) The Committee may also appoint independent advisors, their role being to assist and support members in their understanding and challenge of either service providers or officers of the County Council.

(d) Independent advisors will be appointed by the members, and thereafter report directly to the Chair of the Pensions Committee.

(e) All members of the Pensions Committee have the right to access the support of independent advisors appointed to the Pensions Fund, however due regard has to be taken of securing value for money and as such whether in the first instance officers of the County Council could provide the assistance required.

(f) On appointment all independent advisors will be required to sign a declaration statement outlining any potential conflicts they may have. Once appointed they must immediately report any changes of circumstance directly to the Chair of the Pensions Committee for their consideration and further action should this be necessary.

4.1 The membership of the Pensions Committee comprises 8 members of the County Council plus 1 co-opted district councillor representing the 6 district councils in Cumbria and 2 non voting employee representatives. Equal weight will be given to each members vote with the Chair having the casting vote should the need arise.

4.2 The Committee will meet as a minimum quarterly.


See also:

• Pensions Investment Sub Group
• Cumbria Local Pensions Board
• Cumbria Fire Local Pensions Board
• Pensions Forum