BCH Police Pension Board minutes 27 September 2021
Minutes of the BCH Police Pension Board
Monday 27 September 2021 10.30am to 1pm Via MS Teams
Part 2 closed confidential. Not for publication under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and in agreement with the Meetings and Minutes Procedure agreed by the Strategic Management Board on 3 March 2009
Stuart Goodwin (SG) – Chair - Head of Finance, Bedfordshire
James Cook (JC) - Deputy chair - Director of Resources, Hertfordshire
Jackie Ingle (JI) - Head of BCH Pension and Payroll
Karen Morgan (KM) - Hertfordshire (but not a member)
T/ACC Dan Vajzovic (DV) - CPOSA and Superintendents Association BCH representative, Cambridgeshire
Sergeant Alan Wollaston (AW) - Police Federation BCH representative, Hertfordshire
Graeme Hall (GH) - XPS outsourced BCH pension administrators
Anthony Laud (AL) - NARPO BCH representative, Cambridgeshire
Superintendent Clare Smith (CS) - substitute Superintendents Association BCH representative, Hertfordshire
Rebecca Weston (RW) - ESO, Hertfordshire Executive Support (minutes)
Afzal Chowdhury (AC) - Head of Legal Services, Hertfordshire
Colin Connolly (CC) - Head of Corporate Communications, Hertfordshire
Superintendent Jon Hutchinson (JH) - substitute Superintendents Association BCH representative, Cambridgeshire
1.Welcome and apologies
SG welcomed attendees to the meeting and apologies were noted.
2. Approval of minutes and actions – 7 July 2021
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Actions were reviewed and the action tracker updated accordingly.
3. Conflict of interest – declaration and registry
No conflicts of interest were raised.
4. Terms of reference review
The TOR was reviewed and approved by the board subject to the following amendment:
5.2.1 Subject to the ability of the Board to meet by telephone or by other electronic means as set out in paragraph 5.3.2 below, the Board will otherwise meet at an office of BCH.
5. Auto-enrolment/opt-out data
JI updated the board on the opt-out figures since the implementation of the 2015 scheme. As at the end of August 2021 the figures were as follows:
Bedfordshire – out of 1358 officers, 119 officers opted out of the pension scheme
Cambridgeshire – out of 1688 officers ,139 officers opted out of the pension scheme
Hertfordshire – out of 2280 officers, 110 officers opted out of the pension scheme
A high proportion of the officers that opted out of the pension scheme were noted to be within the 30-40 age bracket. There was discussion in relation to the reason for opt-outs and JI advised that new starters have indicated that the reason for opting out is due to the low-end salary and high-end pension contributions and that they would be likely to opt back in at a later date. KM highlighted that the PEQF starting salary has now been increased and this may assist with some of the salary concerns for student officers. It was noted that auto-enrolment takes place every 3 years, the next one is due 2023.
DV advised that it would be useful for members and CO teams to understand the proportion of the eligible employees that chose to opt out and whether there are any discrepancies between BCH.
Following discussion, it was agreed that JI would report on Auto-enrolment/Opt-Out Data through this board on a six-monthly basis, in order to monitor any trends.
Action – JI to update the risk register for pension membership to note that opt out numbers will be monitored on a six monthly basis.
JI queried the national picture and GH confirmed that this is a common issue with new recruits.
6. Remedy update
JI provided the following update:
Legislation updates are expected to commence in Autumn.
With regards to Immediate Detriment (ID), this is currently with Chiefs to make a decision on whether ID will be implemented across BCH, subject to any further changes/updates from NPCC/Home Office.
The PID has been received from XPS and is due to be signed subject to agreement on the final wording and this will not include the ID element. Project work can then commence in preparation for XPS to start the remedy work once legislation has been updated.
Guidance is still awaited from HMT/HO around some of the more complex areas such as tax and annual allowance.
GH advised that a small number of forces have developed an ID policy. The rest are in a similar position to BCH and aren’t prepared to implement ID at this time due to the risk involved of implementing something without suitable legislation in place.
7. GMP reconciliation report
GH noted that phase two is taking longer than expected to finalise but that the project team continues to work towards the final reconciliation position and advised that an update report will be circulated once available.
8. XPS update report
SG noted that member self-service data is now being reported and highlighted the importance of encouraging members to utilise this service.
GH talked through the quarterly update report which was noted by the board.
KM noted that Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) communications went out in all three forces via General Orders to advise statements are available via the portal.
DV advised that queries continue to be generated from members of Supt rank and upwards regarding access to annual allowance breach statements. It was noted that the annual deadline for issuing breach statements falls later in the year and after ABS’s are issued. GH agreed to update annual XPS communications to highlight this to members and include the date these will be issued moving forward.
9. Risk register
It was agreed that the McCloud risks would be updated to reflect the current position with regards to the PID and Immediate Detriment. It was noted that there would be no change to the risk score.
Action – JI to update McCloud risks (11, 11a, 13 and 13a) to reflect the current position with regards to the PID and Immediate Detriment.
JI provided an update on the Evans and Ashcroft case, which was noted to be in the latter stages of completion. It was noted that there would be no change to the risk score.
Action – JI to update Evans and Ashcroft risks (10 and 12) with the latest XPS update on outstanding BCH cases.
10. Proposed 2022 meeting dates
The proposed meeting dates were noted by the board.
11. Any other business
Annual allowance breach statements
DV queried whether the annual allowance breach statements include an estimate on lifetime allowance. GH advised benefit statements should show percentage of use to date but agreed to check and confirm this outside of the meeting.
Date of next meeting: Monday 13 December 2021, 10.30am via MS Teams