Agenda item

Pensions Administration Report

(To receive a report by Jo Ray, Pension Fund Manager, which provides a quarterly update by West Yorkshire Pension Fund on the current administration issues.  West Yorkshire Pension Fund representatives will also be in attendance to present an update on the Internal Dispute Resolution Process (IDRP) and complaints process in respect of the Pensions Administration service)


The Chair of the Board welcomed Tracy Weaver and Omaira Deen of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF) to the meeting and invited them to give a presentation on the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP).


The presentation covered the following areas of the procedure:-

·       Regulatory Requirements;

·       LGPS IDRP Two-stage process;

·       WYPF Process;

·       Pension Decision;

·       Stage 1 Adjudicator's Responsibilities;

·       Stage 2;

·       Adjudicator's Role;

·       The Pensions Advisory Service;

·       The Pensions Ombudsman; and

·       Examples of Stage 1 Appeals.


The difference between disputes and complaints was explained to the Board.  Complaints dealt with general maladministration of pensions and disputes referred to a potential inappropriate decision made by an employer which had been challenged by the scheme member.  It was clarified that an employee scheme member could not instigate an IDRP until a pension offer had been accepted, even if they disagreed with the initial offer.


The adjudicator did not give a decision but reviewed the processes and considerations made by the employer in making that decision.  It was clarified that in the case of an IDRP concerning an ill health retirement decision, any medical information considered must be dated before the date of the initial decision even if it was received after the decision had been made.  This information was to be authenticated by an independent medical practitioner to enable its submission.


It was necessary for each employer to have all discretionary policies in place and up-to-date in line with recent regulations.  This would avoid any potential challenge by the Ombudsman.


In relation to Death Grant payment, scheme members were required to complete an expression of wish form to set out where they should be paid, however in the event of any challenge the decision of who these could be paid to would be that of the Pension Fund Manager with input by legal colleagues and the Executive Director for Finance and Public Protection.


The Chair thanked Tracy Weaver and Omaira Deen for their presentation and invited them to a future meeting of the Board.


At 3.10pm, the representatives of West Yorkshire Pension Fund left the meeting and did not return.


Consideration was then given to a report by Jo Ray (Pension Fund Manager) which gave the Board a quarterly update by West Yorkshire Pension Fund on current administration issues.


The Pension Fund Manager took the Board through the report and highlighted the following areas to note:-

·       An 'undecided member' was defined as a member who had left an employer but had not yet decided if they wanted to apply for a refund or to move the pension contributions into a 'deferred state'.  Previously, members had three months to make a decision but this had been extended to two years.  Where a member did not advise within that period the pension would move into a 'frozen state';

·       One employer had left the fund and, as required within the regulations, paid a cessation fee into the fund;

·       The Board was advised that of the 16,671 pensioner members issued with Life Certificates, 12 pensions had been suspended due to the non-return of the Life Certificate;

·       Since the report was published, it was reported that 61% of Annual Benefit Statements (ABS) had now been produced and printed and the intention was to reach 100% by the end of August 2017;

·       The Board was referred to the 2016 LGPS Annual Report which could be found at under "Scheme Annual Report 2016";

·       The Administrator of the pensions dashboard prototype was confirmed as the Association of British Insurers (ABI).  Further information on the project, which included a demonstration of the prototype, could be found at ; and

·       Following the closure of the year end, members were advised that the shared service pension admin cost per member had been confirmed as £13.62.


Members were invited to as questions, during which the following points were noted:-

·       When asked, the Pension Fund Manager confirmed that there were no concerns with the administrator of the fund but that improvements could be made with the employers in the fund, to ensure that the information required was not only received by the relevant deadline but that it was accurate;

·       WYPF were responding to tenders for new business, which may give some cause for concern to the Lincolnshire Pension Fund if not properly resourced.  WYPF would advise the Pension Fund Manager, through the Collaboration Board, before submitting bids of this type;

·       WYPF was undertaking employer audits to improve the data quality held within the administration system and it was acknowledged that Lincolnshire County Council, as the largest employer, still had some way to go to ensuring its data was fully up-to-date.  The pensions team was improving its contribution monitoring process to include quality of data, rather than timeliness of data and contributions.




          That the report be noted

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