Issue - meetings
Clwyd Pension Fund Governance
That the report be noted and feedback provided to the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee.
The Clwyd Pension Fund Manager presented a report to give assurance on governance arrangements of the Clwyd Pension Fund (CPF) and the value for money of fund manager fees, as requested at the previous meeting.
The diagram in the report illustrated the current governance structure which had been broadened over time to meet requirements. It was explained that fees determined by the investment consultant on the Advisory Panel were then subject to agreement by the CPF Committee, with oversight provided by the statutory Pension Board. Whilst each authority determined its own strategy, implementation was through the Wales Pension Partnership which provided the platform for pooling investments across the 8 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds in Wales.
The Chief Executive gave assurance that both he and the Corporate Finance Manager supported governance arrangements and that there was external evaluation on governance and performance. Due to the complexities of the subject matter, a high level of training and support was given to the CPF Committee to undertake its role for most of the decision-making on the management of the Fund. The Chief Executive reported that the treasury management investment side of the CPF was performing well and that there was steady improvement on the administration side.
On the approach to fee management, the CPF Manager spoke about the level of skill required by investment consultants and key decision-making on various factors to achieve the right balance of risk and meet future needs. The Actuary review determined both the cost that employers needed to pay for the future benefits of members and any deficit payments for past service, which the investment consultant then considered how best to deliver.
The Chief Executive said that the CPF had adopted a high-risk appetite with proven success and was hopeful that cost pressures on employer contributions would be managed.
In thanking officers for the report, Sally Ellis asked how the Audit Committee could add value and whether training would assist. The Chief Executive and Chief Officer said that the Committee’s role was to satisfy itself with the level of knowledge and support given to the CPF Committee and challenge by the Pensions Board.
Following a query by Councillor Johnson on the list of investment consultants, officers agreed to circulate a copy of the annual report containing this information. Clarification was also given on contract arrangements.
On the list of fund management fees, Councillor Peers referred to the rate of return for credit assets which was below target. Officers explained the aim to diversify across different asset classes and the role of the three specialist sub-groups in supporting the Advisory Panel.
Following earlier discussion, Sally Ellis said that in order for the Committee to be assured, information would be needed on the level of confidence/knowledge on the CPF Committee and whether the oversight by the Pension Board was working well.
The Pensions Finance Manager said that regular detailed reports to the CPF Committee containing governance information, minutes, training plans, etc, were all available on the Council’s ... view the full minutes text for item 35