Agenda item

Employer Issue - LCC Improvement Plan

(To receive a report by Jo Ray (Pension Fund Manager) which provides an overview of the concerns raised by the Board relating to the information provided by Lincolnshire County Council to the Fund's Administrator, West Yorkshire Pension Fund.  Representatives of LCC will be invited to provide assurance on how these issues are being addressed)


Consideration was given to a report by Jo Ray (Pension Fund Manager) which provided an overview of the concerns raised by the Board relating to the information provided by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) to the Fund's Administrator, West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF).


It was noted that the Pension Board had previously been made aware that the Fund's largest employer, LCC, had developed a back log in providing detailed leaver information to the Funds Administrator, WYPF.  At the last meeting in January 2018, the Board received a presentation from LCC and their payroll provider which discussed how the situation was being addressed and set out an improvement plan.


Extensive questioning by the Board had taken place at that meeting, and it had been agreed that a letter would be written to LCC which set out the Board's concerns and also requested representatives attend an additional meeting which had been planned for February 2018.


Representatives of LCC were present at this meeting in February 2018.  However, members were advised that Fiona Thompson (Service Manager, People) had been unable to attend this meeting as she was currently addressing the Audit Committee on similar issues.  A document setting out the progress to date on actions was circulated to the Board, and the following was highlighted:


·         It was expected that the new historical database would be available to the Pensions team from Monday, 9 April 2018.

·         It would take approximately 8 weeks to complete the outstanding backlog of 1,635 leavers.  Therefore the expected completion date for the backlog would be 31 May 2018.  This was being monitored on a weekly basis by the LCC Client.  LCC intended to self-report the breach to the Pension Regulator (TPR) once the backlog had cleared. 

·         The Agresso Data Cleansing action plan was important to ensure there were no delays in managers having the correct access to notify payroll of leavers.  It was reported that this work was on track and Serco had held meetings with key service area managers to check establishments and reporting lines and then made corrections as needed.

·         It was noted that an update on the Payroll Audit was being provided to the Audit Committee on 26 March 2018.  It was expected that all historical issues would be rectified by September 2018 as part of the rectification project.

·         It was reported that LCC had spoken with representatives of Serco and WYPF to request that a regular (monthly) meeting was put in place with LCC, Serco payroll/pensions team in order to ensure that any issues arising could be discussed and resolved quickly.


Members of the Board were provided with the opportunity to ask questions of the officers present in relation to the information contained with the report and update and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:


·         It was noted that the data warehousing project was significantly behind time, as the information had not yet been migrated from SAP to the data warehouse as expected.

·         The money that the Council had recouped from Serco was being reinvested to employ additional IMT staff.

·         It was noted that the WYPF was happy to accept more than the originally agreed 200 leavers per week to reduce the remaining backlog numbers.  There was increased focus on the outstanding cases and the WYPF was doing as much as possible to get them resolved.

·         It was acknowledged that no new issues with the quality of the data had been found so far.

·         It was queried how long after the 31 May there would be satisfaction that everything had been completed and also how long would it take to process this.  Members were advised that the target was to have everything resolved by 31 July 2018 to ensure that the ABSs could be issued.

·         It was noted that within 2 months of a member of staff leaving the authority, a statement of benefits should be issued.  However, this had not always been achieved.  It was confirmed that there had not been any complaints as a result of not issuing those statements.

·         It was noted that active members were entitled to receive an annual statement.

·         In relation to the data quality issues it was expected that this would be able to move from low assurance to limited assurance with audit's approval and the improvements which had been made.

·         It was noted that a meeting had taken place between WYPF and Serco to review the performance of the progress.

·         In relation to some of the issues, the Pension Board was advised that there were manual 'work arounds' for things where rules could not be added into the Council's system, for example, maternity.

·         There were issues over the collection and rectification of payroll payments for historical data, and it was currently unclear how this would be corrected.

·         In relation to the leavers' backlog, it was commented that members felt uncomfortable about waiting to report the breach to TPR after the backlog was cleared.  It was therefore suggested that the breach should be reported at this stage, rather than retrospectively after the backlog had been cleared.  Officers agreed to discuss the Pension Board's concern and request with the Executive Director for Finance and Public Protection.

·         It was noted that the licence for Agresso was held by LCC and it was unlikely that the systems would remain unchanged.




(1)  That the Board's concerns would be raised with the Executive Director for Finance and Public Protection and to advise the Executive Director to self-report the breach, as detailed in the report, to the Pension Regulator.


(2)  That representatives from Lincolnshire County Council be requested to update the Pension Board in relation to (1) as detailed above and to report on progress at its next scheduled meeting.

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