Agenda item

Administration Report


James Lake, Head of Pensions, Treasury & Statutory Accounts, introduced the report noting that Hampshire County Council (HCC), as the pensions administrator, were performing well at 100% against all key performance indicators; online portal sign up continued to increase with the number of sign ups higher than at any point with the previous pensions administrator, and work was progressing well with regard to the pensions dashboard.


The Committee noted that the backlog of unprocessed leavers was coming down which was encouraging, however it was noted that this was coming down fairly slowly; Members sought an understanding of what factors were inhibiting the clearance of the backlog. Members were informed that there was a project plan in place and that HCC had a dedicated team of people working on the backlog, the project was expected to last approximately two years and had started in April. It was noted that the team were reliant on employers responding to their queries in a timely manner, this was highlighted as a factor affecting the progress of the project.


The Committee congratulated HCC on meeting all of the key performance indicators and were encouraged by their performance, it was queried whether the key performance indicators were perhaps too generous as they had been consistently met at close to 100% across the board. Andy Lowe, Head of Pension Services at Hampshire County Council, highlighted that the key performance indicators were a common set of standards amongst the local authorities that HCC were pensions administrators for, it was noted that these targets were balanced, fair and achievable but they were still ambitious, and HCC set out to achieve them.


Members noted that the report alluded to planned audit work being done with regard to cyber security and sought further details on this, the Committee were informed that work was yet to be started but HCC would ensure that the report was shared with Hillingdon officers.


The Committee noted that HCC had recently commented publicly on the funding challenges faced by local authorities and Members were reassured that, in the face of experienced and anticipated funding struggles for local authorities across the country, HCC was a healthy and stable upper tier authority that was well run and with it’s finances in a comfortable position. Andy Evans, the Corporate Director of Finance, assured the Committee that he had spoken with HCC’s section 151 officer and received assurances as to their financial position. It was noted that the comments issued by HCC were a warning for central government wherein if no funding changes were made for local authorities in the coming years, then it would not be surprising to see even healthy authorities struggle.


With regard to the McCloud remedy work, it was noted that officers held regular meetings with HCC to talk about McCloud and the returns from employers and that they were looking at varying ways of escalating where certain employers were giving slow responses, if any. The situation was being monitored to cut down any backlog however it was noted that this was not an urgent piece of work.


RESOLVED: That the Pensions Committee noted the administration update.

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