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Meetings

Meeting Details

Pension Fund Panel
15 Jul 2021 - 19:00 to 21:00
Occurred
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

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Standard Items
VIRTUAL MEETING - LINK TO VIEW
This meeting will take place virtually and broadcast on the Council's YouTube site.
The meeting can be viewed by following this link:

LINK HERE
1 Apologies for Absence
1
Councillor Sahota (Vice-Chair) reported to the Chair that she had significant technical issues and would not be able to attend the meeting.

2 Urgent Matters
2
None.

3 Declarations of Interest
3
None.

4 Matters to be Considered in Private

The training in Item 6 will be held in Private as it contains information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

4
The training in Item 6 was held in Private as it contained information that was exempt from disclosure by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2021.
5
Resolved:

That, the Pension Fund Panel agreed the minutes of the last meeting on 11 March 2021 as a correct record.

6 Training - Responsible Investment (1 Hour)
This training will be delivered by Hymans
6
Philip Pearson Senior Investment Consultant and Alessandra Santiago Investment Consultant of Hymans Robertson LLP (known as Hymans) delivered the training based around a presentation entitled Responsible Investment (RI) and Climate Risk Training.

Resolved:

That, the Panel:

thanked the Hymans consultants for their interesting and informative presentation which they had noted
agreed Responsible Investment was to be a standing item on the PFP agenda
That Bridget Uku was to draft an initial report on the future approach to Responsible Investment

7
Resolved:

That, the Panel:
i. Noted the performance of the LPPA including  Appendix 1 of this report which set out the LPPA’s Quarterly Administration report covering the period 1/01/2021 – 31/03/2021, plus the annual figures for 1/4/2020 – 31/03/2021. The report included casework performance against Service Level Agreements, plus several other enhanced service measures on the membership of the fund
ii. Noted that Ark Soane Academy would become a scheduled body from 1/09/2021.
iii. Noted that Wood End Infants would be amalgamating with Wood End Academy and would become Wood End Primary School Academy from 1/09/2021.
iv. Thanked officers for their work on the report

8
Bridget Uku presented the Pension Fund Performance Monitor Update for the quarter ended 31 March 2021.

Councillor Driscoll  commented that the Fund had provided a good return and was doing well. However, exposure to property seemed to be a  heavy bias in investment share.

Bridge Uku pointed out that 10% of the fund was allocated to property – which was a normal proportion of investment and that some funds had more than that.

Post Covid it is likely that there has been a seismic shift in the way we live work and play. The demand for retail and office space may change.  Property investment in the future was being reviewed for instance perhaps to invest more in residential and affordable private rental sector investments but had decided not to carry out this review in the middle of the pandemic when there was so much uncertainty

Councillor Johnson pointed out table 3.1 in the report where the panel could see where funds were invested and what it was hoped to do.

Bridget Uku pointed out that investing in property took time. Often investors are in a queue and that it can cost 3-4% of the investment to get in and out of property.

Resolved:

That, the panel:

i. Noted the value of the Fund Investments of £1,473.1m, up from £1,447.4m as at 31 December 2020, (1.8% increase). This included £125.7m of net asset value of our pooled property holdings. (para. 4.7 of the report)
ii. Noted the Scheme’s funding update as at 31 March 2021 (para. 5 of the report)
iii. Noted the current position on class action filings. (para. 6) Page 2 of 23 of the report
iv. Noted that the Pension Fund in house cash stood at £79.2m as at 31 March 2021 (para 7 of the report)
v. Noted that as per approval at the March 2021 meeting the proxy investment had been implemented following consultation with the Chair, Vice Chair and opposition spokesperson. (para 3.8 Table 1 of the report)
vi. Noted the latest update on topical issues within the LGPS arena. (para. 9 of the report)
vii. Noted that delegation of updating the Fund’s Funding Strategy Statement (and associated policies contained within it) was granted to the Chief Finance Officer to make (in consultation with the Chair, Vice Chair and Opposition spokesperson) at the last meeting. The Statement was being reviewed by the Chief Finance Officer to establish how or whether to incorporate policies to reflect the new flexibilities available to administering authorities and employers participating in the LGPS, which were introduced into the LGPS Regulations in 2020 i.e., the ability to enter into Deferred Debt Arrangements, request a review of contributions inter-valuation. This would involve consultation with all employers. (para. 9.8 of the report)
viii. Received in depth training for the Council’s advisers Hymans on responsible investment with a view to formulating a responsible investment objective and a clear structured methodology for achieving that goal. (para. 11 of the report)
ix. Noted officers were still awaiting legal clarification regarding exit payments.
x. Noted that in line with the delegation agreed on the 5 July 2018 to the Chief Finance Officer, the CFO will continue to implement the strategy changes required (managing risks and costs) in consultation with Hymans Robertson, The Chair, Vice Chair and opposition spokesperson
xi. Noted that there was still some rebalancing of the Fund to complete. The timing of the rebalancing would take place in line with the consultation protocol agreed as part of this delegation.

9
Bridget Uku presented the Annual Report and Audit Arrangements 2020-21 stating that it was a very early draft of report and that therefore there may be changes to report and further drafts

Councillor Driscoll noted that the list of declared equities did not include Shell or BP which used to be on that list and asked that had happened.

Responding Bridget Uku stated that the Ealing Pension Fund may still have an exposure to Shell and BP.  The Fund had moved Lazards which had a UK-based segregated mandate, to pool funds which were global.  Therefore, there was less exposure to fossil fuels and a move to low carbon investments.

Now the fund only had direct access to fossil fuels through its bond which amounted to 1.9% last year. These changes had been put in place last November 2020-21.

Sukhminder Kalsi commented that he understood that there had been some feedback from Pension Board relating to the Annual Report.

Bridget Uku confirmed that there had been discussion of the Chair’s statement and whether the existing or previous Chairs should and the Board had asked for this to be fed back to the Pension Fund Panel.

Councillor Johnson suggested that she should introduce last year’s information contained in the Annual Report and that Councillor Donnelly stated what he intended to do over the next year.  Councillor Johnson also pointed out that when she took over as Chair of the Panel her predecessor had lost their seat and so was not in a position to be involved in the Annual Report at the time.

Councillor Donnelly stated that he was minded to leave the introductions as they were as he had been following precedent and what was believed to be normal practice but that he would reflect on this.

Resolved:
That, the Panel:

i. Noted the draft Pension Fund Annual Report and statutory statements as attached in Appendix 1 of the report
ii. Noted that Members would be required to delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer to finalise the Annual Report and Accounts at the September meeting, in order to meet Audit timescales in time for statutory publication date of 1 December 2021

10 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 2 September 2021.

10
The Chair stated that the next meeting will be held on 2 September 2021, thanked the panel for their contributions and declared this meeting closed.
 

Additional Meeting Documents

  1. CONFIDENTIAL HYMANS ESG TRAINING SLIDES 210707 Ealing RI and climate risk training_
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Councillor Kamaldeep SahotaTechnical issues with joining the meeting. 
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting