Agenda item

Staffordshire Pension Fund Business Plan 2020/21

Report of the Director of Corporate Services


The Committee were informed that historically, if presented in March, the report would have asked the Committee to review progress against the 2019/20 financial year’s Business Plan and based on that, approve a proposed Business Plan for the 2020/21 financial year.  However, given the postponement of the March and June Pensions Committee meetings, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the report before Members only sought retrospective approval of the 2020/21 Business Plan.


The Director of Corporate Services indicated that the Business Plan for 2020/21 was, once again, split into two distinct sections. The first section dealt with Key Development Activities which aimed to make working practices more efficient and effective. The second section dealt with the activities that needed to be undertaken as part of the day job, but which impacted significantly at certain points in the year or which happened as a by-product of another activity e.g. finalising the year end data. Some of the areas that the Pensions Services Teams had identified as Key Development Activities in 2020/21 included:


·           Review / Undertake a Mortality / Living as Stated / Tracing Exercise, to improve the quality of the data the Fund held about its Deferred Members, with a focus on improving the Fund’s Data Score, reported to the Pensions Regulator;


·           Continuing to implement i-Connect software for data collection with Fund Employers, with the aim of having as close to 100% of Active Fund Member data being submitted monthly;


·           Assessing the output from the Scheme Advisory Board’s Good Governance Review and considering how best to implement any actions identified;


·           Continued promotion of My Pensions Portal (MPP), the self-service area of the Pension Fund website (; including the introduction of new functionality that would be available to scheme members, as the software was developed; and


·           Maintaining effective LGPS asset pool Governance and monitoring asset transitions into LGPS Central as more sub-funds were launched.  


The Director of Corporate Services also informed the Committee that the Pension Fund currently had five main areas of ‘resource/cost’ -


    Pension’s administration and accounting (internal);

    Advice from actuary and consultants/advisors (external);

    Legal support either internal or external;

    Investment management (external);

    Custody (external).


Members noted that several costs were very difficult to anticipate, for example costs for investment advice and legal support varied depending on the level of activity.  Investment Management fees varied dependent of the GBP(£) amount of assets under management (AUM) and the level of manager performance, impacting on the payment of performance related fees. Therefore, it was likely that there could be considerable variation in the final outturn position.  In view of the uncertainty around a number of costs highlighted in the report, it was not proposed to use these estimated costs for ‘budget monitoring’ purposes per-se but to use them as an indication. Whilst they would be compared to the budget forecast post 31 March as part of the outturn report, the Committee was asked to consider them alongside cost comparisons, benchmarking and trends to ensure that value for money was being delivered.  The Director added that a more detailed report on comparative outturn costs for 2019/20 would be brought to the Committee in December 2020, or sooner if the audit of the accounts was concluded before then.


RESOLVED – That the Staffordshire Pension Fund Business Plan 2020/21, attached at Appendix A to the report, be approved and the key challenges surrounding its delivery be noted.

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