R E P O R T & A C C O U N T S 2 0 0 6 / 2 0 0 7
STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES
CONSULTING ACTUARY’S STATEMENT
APPENDIX A EMPLOYER MEMBERSHIP
APPENDIX B PENSIONS COMMITTEE ITEMS
APPENDIX C INFORMATION CONTACTS
Management Structure At 31 March 2007 1 PENSION FUND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Voting Members Chair: Cllr T Harney Vice Chair: Cllr S A Brown Cllr G Davies Cllr F M Doyle Cllr W A Duffey Cllr I J Mackenzie Cllr A McLachlan Cllr R K Moon Cllr H Smith Cllr G C J Watt
Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral Wirral
Cllr Anne Ibbs Sefton Cllr B Oâ€™Hare Knowsley Cllr K Turner Liverpool Cllr J Fletcher St Helens Jayne Brown (LJMU) Non-district Employer Representative
Employee Representatives Mr P Goodwin Mr P Wiggins
Officers of the Fund Ian Coleman David Smith John Parry Peter Mawdsley Mark Reaney Colin Hughes
Director of Finance Deputy Director of Finance Head of Pension Fund Principal Pensions Officer Head of Legal and Member Services Assistant Borough Solicitor
2 ADVISERS TO INVESTMENT MONITORING WORKING PARTY Director of Finance Head of Pension Fund Mercer Investment Consulting Sarah Bates Noel Mills
3 OTHERS Auditor Bankers Consultant Actuary Custodian of Assets Ethical Advisers Property Advisers Performance Measurement Solicitor AVC Providers
Audit Commission The Royal Bank of Scotland plc Mercer HR Consulting State Street Pensions and Investment Research Consultants Ltd Cordea Savills Fund Management The WM Company Wirral MBC Equitable Life Assurance Society Standard Life Prudential 2
“As the new Chair of the Pensions Committee, I am pleased to present Merseyside Pension Fund’s Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2007. The aim of the report is to highlight the important issues affecting the Fund over the last twelve months as well as providing more general information regarding the pension scheme.”
The Overall Aim of the Fund The principal aim of the Fund is to provide secure pensions, effectively and efficiently administered at the lowest cost to the contributing employers. This requires the Fund to strike a balance between achieving the most from its investments and the need to exercise prudence and caution in considering its future liability profile. The Pensions Committee reviews the Fund's investments, at regular intervals, with the help of its various professional advisers, to ensure that they remain appropriate.
Investment Performance of the Fund During the year under review, the Fund has advanced in value by around £250m to £4.3bn, a positive overall investment return of 6.2%, compared to its bespoke benchmark return of 7.3%. With financial markets having risen significantly since 2003, the twelve month period to March 2007 has seen moderate returns. The Fund compared marginally unfavourably with the average Local Authority Fund, which was more heavily weighted in favour of equities. Many equity markets produced double digit returns although in the US and Japan these were offset by currency weakness. In sterling terms, the major markets performance was; the UK(+11.1%), Continental Europe(+12.4%), North America(-0.9%), Japan(-9.9%), Pacific (+12.3%), Property (+15.6%) and there were solid contributions from cash and alternative investments. Bonds were little changed. The management of the Fund, distribution of assets and performance are dealt with in more detail later in this report. The ten-year return of the Fund at 8.0% per annum compound remains well ahead of both average earnings and inflation.
Councillor Ann McLachlan, Chair of Pensions Committee
At the last triennial actuarial valuation at 31 March 2004, against a background of three consecutive years of negative equity growth, the funding level had fallen from 94% to 76% of projected actuarial liabilities.
more than 800,000 hits in its first year. There is an increasing take-up of the email alert service.
Regulations have been published in respect of Benefits, Membership and Contributions for the new look Scheme due to replace the current Scheme from April 2008. Separate regulations dealing with Administration and Transitional Provisions are still awaited.
At the time of writing, the triennial valuation as at 31 March 2007, has not been finalised. Initial indications are that the strong investment performance over the past three years has contributed to a material improvement in the funding level but, to a very great extent, this has been offset by anticipated increases in longevity. Where known, the financial implications of the changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme have been taken into account in the actuarial valuation as at 31 March 2007.
Communication with Fund Employers and Members The current active membership of the Fund stands at approximately 51,000 with around 38,000 in receipt of pensions and 23,000 members with deferred benefits. Effective communication remains a crucial issue for the Fund, which has continued to offer a variety of presentations and training courses to members and employers during the year. The redesigned Fund website, launched last year, has been well received with
The annual Employers’ Conference held at the Maritime Museum in November 2006 was again well attended and featured speakers from the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Fund’s Actuary, Mercer Human Resource Consulting and members and officers from the Fund.
Past Changes and the Future During the past year, the staff of the Administration and Investment teams have been involved with the implementation of a number of new sets of regulations as part of the ongoing modernisation of the Scheme. Changes to regulations were made, linked to the introduction of the new simplified tax regime including increasing the maximum tax free lump sum available by commutation and introducing ”flexible retirement” arrangements. Regulations dealing with removal of the “85 Year” rule were implemented from 1 October 2006 with transitional protections, in full or in part, extended to relevant members retiring before 1 April 2020.
John Parry, the Head of Pension Fund, retired at the end of March and we wish him a happy and healthy retirement. John joined the Fund in 1997 as Accountant before taking over as Head of Pension Fund in 2002. He is succeeded by Peter Wallach who has been with the Fund since 2004. As ever, the continued success of the Fund depends on the combined efforts of all those concerned with the operation of the Fund. In conclusion, I should like to thank the Committee, the Scheme employers and their staff, the financial advisors, the external investment managers and all of the Fund’s Investment and Administration staff for all their considerable work in delivering the service to Scheme members.
Management Report Year ending 31 March 2007
Management of the Fund The overall responsibility for the management of the Fund rests with the Pensions Committee, now chaired by Councillor Ann McLachlan (who replaced Councillor Tom Harney in May 2007).
In 2006/07 the Committee, as set out on page 2, comprised of Councillors from the Wirral Labour group (4), Conservatives (3), Liberal Democrats (3), representatives of the four other District Authorities (Liverpool, St. Helens, Knowsley and Sefton) and an independent representative from the other employers. Also in attendance are employee representatives (2), the Director of Finance and other officers of the Fund. The Committee meets around five times a year to review the administrative and investment issues affecting the Fund.
The Committee also ensures that the management of the Fund’s assets falls within the requirements of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 1998. These regulations require the Fund to have regard to both diversification and suitability of investments and stipulate the requirement to take proper advice when making investment decisions.
The more detailed consideration of investment strategy and asset allocation of the Fund’s portfolios is considered by an Investment Monitoring Working Party. This Working Party meets quarterly to review investment strategy and to receive reports on investment activity undertaken in the previous period. One of its important tasks is to monitor the performance of the Fund’s external managers in conjunction with professional advisers and the Fund’s officers. The Working Party comprises representatives from the Pensions Committee, two independent advisers as well as Mercers Investment Consulting and members of the inhouse investment team.
With regard to its investment management activities, the Fund uses a combination of internal and external managers, and active and passive strategies. Active UK and European equity portfolios are managed internally with parallel portfolios managed by external managers. Barclays Global Investors currently manage the comparative UK portfolio and JP Morgan, appointed in August 2006, the comparative European portfolio. Nomura are responsible for equities in Emerging Markets, Japan and the Far East. During the year, a strategic decision was taken to change the management of North American equities to a wholly passive basis. At the time of writing, the process for appointing a new passive manager is well advanced. Active Bonds are managed by Schroders and Legal & General Investment Management. Legal & General also manage the passive investments in a pooled fund. Internal fund managers report to the Director of Finance through regular Fund Operating Group meetings and follow laid down compliance procedures. External and
internal fund managers have been given specific benchmarks against which performance is measured and monitored quarterly at meetings of the Investment Monitoring Working Party. Cordea Savills Investment Management Ltd, who report to the Head of Pension Fund, act as strategic property advisers. The day-to-day management of the properties is handled by CB Richard Ellis, with an independent half yearly valuation of the portfolio being carried out by Colliers Erdman Lewis.
Peter Wallach, Head of Pension Fund
Investment Report Year ending 31 March 2007
Leyland Otter, Investments
The Fund is managed within the rules and guidelines set out in the 1998 Regulations, which consolidated and simplified previous regulations. These regulations set parameters for the types and limits that the Fund can invest in certain asset classes.
Merseyside Pension Fund recognises its responsibility as an investor to promote and encourage corporate governance within the companies in which it invests. The Fund believes that good corporate governance is an important element in reducing the risk of corporate failure and enhancing returns over the long term. The principles of corporate governance outlined in the 'revised combined code' established by the Cadbury, Greenbury, Hampel and Higgs Committees are supported by the Fund which has an active policy of engagement with companies, including using its proxy votes at all major UK & European company AGMs and EGMs to promote best practice. The Fund receives detailed advice and recommendations from Pensions and Investment Research Consultants Ltd. (PIRC) to inform its voting decisions and is an active
The investment strategy of the Fund has been to maximise returns over the medium to long term whilst having regard to its liability commitments. This has led to a more bespoke structure, better suited to matching the Fund's maturity and liability profile. The requirement to maintain a balanced portfolio of assets across a diversified portfolio invested in a range of stocks and sectors, remains of paramount importance. At the beginning of the year the asset/liability relationship was reviewed by Mercer HR Consulting and the recommendations have been implemented.
% of total assets
Portfolio Distribution (Market Value at 31 March 2007)
Figure 1. Portfolio Distribution (Market Value at 31 March 2007) 7
member of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum. Councillor Sue Brown is on the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) executive board.
Effective Decision Making
Focus on Asset Allocation
The Fund is also an active member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Through its PIRC, LAPFF and IIGCC affiliations, the Fund seeks to support the development of consistent, informed and fair corporate governance policies that promote good practice across the market as well as for individual companies.
The Fund is substantially compliant with the Myner's principles on institutional investment. Further information is contained in the revised Statement of Investment Principles which is reviewed annually by the Pensions Committee. The current statement is available from the Fund office at PO Box 120, Castle Chambers, 43 Castle Street, Liverpool L69 2NW. It covers:
Fund Composition The Fund's composition is largely dictated by its bespoke strategic benchmark, which is determined in consultation with the Fund's actuary. This strategic benchmark is the main gauge against which investment performance is measured and is reviewed periodically to ensure it continues to meet the liability profile of the Fund. The Fund's actual composition at the beginning and end of the reporting period is depicted in Figure 1.
MPF Total Return by Asset Class in year ended 31 March 2007
Figure 2. Total Return by Asset Class in year ended 31 March 2007
Strategic Asset Structure Asset Strategic Class Benchmark % % UK Equities 31 Overseas Equities 25 US 8.0 European (Ex UK) 9.0 Japan 3.0 Asia Pacific 2.5 Emerging Markets 2.5 Fixed Interest 26 UK Gilts 7.0 Overseas Bonds 0.0 UK Index Linked 13.0 Corporate Bonds 6.0 Property 10 Venture Capital/ Other Investments 6 Cash 2 Total 100 Largest UK Equity Holdings as at 31 March 2007 Company Market Value Equity £'000 % BP PLC HSBC GlaxoSmithKline Vodafone Royal Bank of Scotland Royal Dutch Shell Astrazeneca Barclays Tesco Lion Trust
37,260 27,575 24,098 23,120
7.4 5.5 4.8 4.6
18,720 18,601 14,080 13,339 13,328 11,495 201,616
3.8 3.7 2.8 2.7 2.7 2.3 40.3
The top 10 holdings represent 40.3 % of the total in house UK Equity Portfolio and 14.4% of total UK equities (4.7% of total fund).
Largest Property Holdings as at 31 March 2007 Property Market Value £'000 Tunsgate Square Guildford Cunard Building Liverpool Willowbrook Retail Park Loughborough Farnham Retail Park Middlemarch Business Park Coventry 37/38 Curzon Street London Horns Road Retail Park Ilford High Street Windsor
33,575 32,475 30,250 24,100 22,300 22,000 19,000 15,900 8
Investment Report Year ended 31 March 2007
Actively managed UK and overseas equity mandates were the largest contributor to the Fund underperforming its bespoke benchmark by 1.1%.
in ahead of benchmark in the Emerging markets with an outturn of 9% against a targeted 7%.
In the UK, the Fund returned 9.2% European equities (excluding UK) returned 11.5% against a benchmark return of 12.4%.
(bonds) performed broadly in line with their benchmarks and property enjoyed another solid period of growth returning 12.4% against benchmark return of 15.6%.
In North America, the Fund returned a negative 3.2% against a benchmark return of minus 0.9%. This marked a reversal of last year’s outperformance.
Cash and other alternative investments (including hedge funds) continued to perform strongly returning 7.5% against a benchmark return of 4.9%.
Performance in Japan was also disappointing with the Fund returning a negative 13.6% against a benchmark return of minus 9.9%. In both markets, returns would have been positive but for the strength of Sterling against the Dollar and the Yen.
Over the longer term, the Fund’s returns have consistently outperformed retail price and average earnings indices as illustrated in the table below.
against a target benchmark of 11.1%.
Review of Investment Performance Investment returns over the last year were characterised by the continued strong performance of equity markets driven by robust economic growth, solid company earnings and increased activity on the mergers and acquisitions front. The Fund returned 6.2% in the financial year to the end of March 2007 compared to its bespoke benchmark return of 7.3%, marking an increase in value of around £250m to over £4,301m. Over the comparable period, the average return of all Local Authority Pension Funds based on the WM Local Authority universe of 90 funds was 7%. 9
The Fund’s fixed income investments
Elsewhere, the Fund’s stock market returns from the Pacific Basin (excluding Japan) were 18.6% against a benchmark return of 20.3%, and performance came Comparative Returns for the Fund
Merseyside Pension Fund Benchmark Inflation Average Earnings
1 Year % 6.2 7.3 4.8 4.1
3 Years % 13.6 13.3 3.5 4.2
5 Years % 8.4 7.7 3.2 4.0
10 Years % 8.0 7.2 2.8 4.3
Financial Statements FUND ACCOUNT for the year ended 31 March 2007 Note
200,837 16,353 217,190 185,051 11,754 3,740 200,545
184,304 20,131 204,435 174,933 17,682 3,253 195,868
61,718 187,559 -1,874 -4,604 00242,799
70,181 679,507 330 -4,058 745,960
Net Assets of the Fund at start of year
Net Assets of the Fund at end of year
Contributions and Benefits Contributions receivable Transfers in
Benefits payable Leavers Administration Expenses
Net additions from dealings with members Return on Investments Investment income Change in market value of investments Exchange Investment Management Expenses Net return on Investments
6 7 8
Net increase in the Fund during the year
NET ASSETS STATEMENT AS AT 31 MARCH 2007 Note Investments Fixed Interest Securities Index-linked Securities Other Investments Equities Managed or Unitised Funds Properties Short Term Deposits
Other Assets and Liabilities
Net Assets of the Fund as at 31 March 2007
0 0 137,150 1,077,743 2,589,491 355,475 116,573
0 0 120,743 1,065,982 2,409,519 307,225 103,974
Financial Statements Notes to the Accounts
Gerard Moore, Financial Controller
2 ACCOUNTING POLICIES
2 ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Although the Scheme is exempt from the requirements of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 1996, the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with these regulations and with the guidelines set out in the Statement of Recommended Practice, Financial Reports of Pension Schemes (the SORP).
Basis of preparation
The financial statements are prepared in accordance with applicable UK accounting standards and with the guidelines set out in the Statement of Recommended Practice, Financial Reports of Pension Schemes.
Rental income from properties is taken into account by reference to the periods to which the rents relate and is shown net of related expenses. The Fund accrues rent up to 24 March each year. Rent received on the Quarter Day, 25 March, is accounted for in full in the following year.
The financial statements record the transactions of the Scheme during the year and summarise the net assets at the disposal of the Managers at the end of the financial year. They do not take account of obligations to pay pensions and benefits which fall due after the end of Scheme year. The actuarial position of the Scheme, which does take account of such obligations, is dealt with in the statement by the Actuary on pages 21 to 23 and these financial statements should be read in conjunction with it.
Valuation of investments Investments are stated at market value. For this purpose unlisted investments are included at manager's valuation and properties at professional valuation. For listed securities the stock exchange values are used. Properties have been valued independently by Colliers Erdman Lewis, Chartered Surveyors, as at 31 March 2007.
Translation of foreign currencies Assets and liabilities in foreign currencies are translated into sterling at rates ruling at the year end. Foreign income received during the year is translated at the rate ruling at the date of receipt. All resulting exchange adjustments are included in the revenue account.
Investment income Interest on fixed interest stocks and on short term deposits has been accounted for on an accruals basis. Income from equities is accounted for when the related investment is quoted "ex-dividend". 11
Contributions and benefits Contributions are accounted for on an accruals basis. Benefits payable represent the benefits paid during the financial year and include an estimated accrual for lump-sum benefits outstanding as at the year end.
Transfers to other schemes Transfer payments relate to those early leavers whose transfers have been paid during the year plus an accrual for future payments in respect of members moving their service to other schemes under bulk transfer arrangements.
Investment management expenses In accordance with the SORP, costs in respect of the internal investment team are classified as investment management expenses rather than as administrative expenses.
28,664 149,223 22,950 200,837
27,394 135,755 21,155 184,304
Pensions Lump sum retiring allowances Lump sum death benefits
157,286 25,388 2,377 185,051
150,533 21,810 2,590 174,933
relating to: Administering Authority relating to: Statutory Bodies relating to: Admission Bodies
26,715 140,205 18,131 185,051
26,394 132,401 16,138 174,933
3 CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVABLE Employers Normal Early retirement funding Employees Normal
relating to: Administering Authority relating to: Statutory Bodies relating to: Admission Bodies
4 BENEFITS PAYABLE
5 PAYMENTS TO AND ON ACCOUNT OF LEAVERS Refunds to members leaving service Payment for members joining state scheme Individual transfers to other schemes
62 -23 11,715 11,754
255 111 17,316 17,682
The figure of individual transfers to other schemes includes £95,000 in respect of one bulk transfer.
6 INVESTMENT INCOME Fixed interest securities Index-linked securities Dividends from equities, managed and unitised funds Net rents from properties Interest on deposits Other
38,453 17,261 5,799 182 61,718
35,298 16,242 5,814 78 70,181
After 1 June 2006 all the Fund's holdings of bonds were in unitised vehicles. The investment income shown in 2005/2006 in respect of fixed interest and index linked securities covers interest on the previous segregated (directly held) holdings. As at 31 March 2007, £78.9 million of stock was on loan to market makers, which was covered by non-cash collateral totalling £83.2 million. Income from stock lending is included within "Other". The figure of "Dividends from Equities, managed and unitised funds" includes recoverable taxation of £0.179m, plus income from profits from associate and joint ventures of £6.114m.
Fixed Interest Securities Index-Linked Securities Equities Managed & Unitised Funds Other Properties Short term deposits
Market Value @ 31.3.06 £'000 0 0 1,065,982 2,409,519 120,743 307,225 103,974 4,007,443
Purchases at cost
£'000 0 0 464,884 451,940 28,780 53,119 12,599 1,011,322
£'000 0 0 521,732 367,950 15,651 24,559 0 929,892
Change in Market* value £'000 0 0 68,609 95,982 3,278 19,690 0 187,559
Market Value @ 31.3.07 £'000 0 0 1,077,743 2,589,491 137,150 355,475 116,573 4,276,432
*Note: The change in market value of investments during the year comprises all realised and unrealised appreciation and depreciation.The high volume of sales and purchases reflects changes of external managers during the year, covering portfolios valued at £267m.
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
461,412 616,331 1,077,743
438,542 627,440 1,065,982
188,228 296,927 27,043 450,516 938,721 533,038 100,153 54,865 2,589,491
241,444 192,970 26,181 425,995 883,391 517,035 83,003 39,500 2,409,519
299,225 56,250 355,475
245,700 61,525 307,225
Fixed Interest Securities (segregated holdings)* UK Fixed Interest UK Corporate Bonds Overseas Fixed Interest *Other than Corporate Bonds, all are public sector securities.
Index-Linked Securities (segregated holdings) Equities (segregated holdings) UK Quoted Overseas Quoted Managed* and Unitised Funds UK Fixed Interest UK Corporate Bonds Overseas Fixed Interest Index-Linked Securities UK Equities Overseas Equities Unlisted Securities (Private Equity) Property Unit trusts
Other Investments UK Properties Freehold Leasehold
Short Term Deposits
8 INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT EXPENSES Fees paid to the 6 major investment managers amount to £3.914m and constitute the bulk of the figure of £4.604m investment management fees. Charges vary between fund managers
and between markets and types of security. Charges are calculated as a percentage of the value of the investments.
9 CURRENT ASSETS AND LIABILITIES Assets Contributions due Accrued and outstanding investment income Due from stockbrokers Cash at Bank Sundries Liabilities Due to stockbrokers Transfer values payable Provisions Miscellaneous Total Other Assets and Liabilities The figure of debtors does not include future payments from employers who are making special additional payments in respect of early retirement costs over an agreed number of years. The reduction in "transfer values payable" figure reflects a recent decision that the Fund retains
2007 £’000 14,889 7,290 3,768 4,670 5,792 36,409
2006 £’000 16,840 7,067 12,274 8,179 4,457 48,817
3,917 95 304 7,548 11,864
1,305 5,000 935 7,487 14,727
responsibility for a group of pensioners and deferred members whose former employer, having left the Fund, will now consequently pay the Fund in respect of such liabilities. Included in the "Miscellaneous Liabilities" figure is £1.838m of unpaid benefits.
10 COMMITMENTS Commitments for investments amounted to £100.388m as at 31 March 2007.
11 RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS Administration and investment management costs include charges by Wirral Council in providing services in its role as administering authority to the Fund, which amount to £3.291m (2006 £3.087m). Such charges principally relate to staffing required to maintain the pension service. A specific declaration has
been obtained from principal officers and Pensions Committee members regarding membership of and transactions with such persons or their related parties. One Directorship of an admitted body has been disclosed under this procedure. No declarable related party transactions have been reported.
12 SUMMARY OF MANAGERS' PORTFOLIO VALUES 12 AS AT 31 MARCH 2007 Externally Managed Barclays Global Investors J P Morgan Nomura Schroders Legal & General (Pooled Assets) Legal & General (Bonds)
£m 549 122 364 304 1,212 303 2,854
% 12.8 2.9 8.5 7.1 28.3 7.1 66.7
13 ADDITIONAL VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS The Committee holds assets invested separately from the main fund. In accordance with Regulation 5 (2) (c) of the Pensions Schemes (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 1998, these assets are excluded from the Pension Fund accounts. The Scheme providers are Equitable Life, Standard Life and Prudential. Individual members participating in this arrangement
Equitable Life Standard Life Prudential
each receive an annual statement confirming the amounts held on their account and the movements in the year. As requested in the Local Authority Statement of Recommended Practice (20062007) an aggregate breakdown between contributions, repayments and change in market value is not readily available. The aggregate amount of AVC investments is as follows:
2007 £’000 3,633 6,859 3,089 13,581
2006 £’000 3,893 6,316 2,264 12,473 14
Statement of Responsibilites
The Authority's Responsibilities The Council as Administering Authority of Merseyside Pension Fund is required: z To make arrangements for the proper administration of the financial affairs of the Fund and to secure that one of its officers has the responsibility for the administration of those affairs. In this authority, that officer is the Director of Finance. z To manage the affairs of the Fund to secure economic, efficient use of resources and safeguard its assets.
The Director of Finance's Responsibilities The Director of Finance is responsible for the preparation of the Fund's Statement of Accounts which, in terms of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance
and Accountancy Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in Great Britain (the Code), is required to present fairly the financial position of the Fund at the accounting date and its income and expenditure for the year ended 31 March 2007. In preparing this statement of accounts, the Director of Finance has: z Selected suitable accounting policies and then applied them consistently z Made judgements and estimates that were reasonable and prudent z Complied with the Code The Director of Finance has also: z Kept proper accounting records which were up to date z Taken reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities
The Director of Finance's Certificate I certify that the Statement of Accounts presents fairly the financial position of the Fund at 31 March 2007, and its income and expenditure for the year then ended.
Director of Finance Date: 25 September 2007 25 September 2006
15 Ian Coleman, Director of Finance
Audit Report to Merseyside Pension Fund Independent Auditorsâ€™ Report to the Members of the Merseyside Pension Fund on the Pension Fund Annual Report
Independent auditors' report to the Members of Merseyside Pension Fund on the Pension Fund Annual Report I have examined the financial statements included in the Pension Fund Annual Report which comprise the Fund Account, the Net Assets Statement and the related notes. This report is made solely to Merseyside Pension Fund in accordance with Part II of the Audit Commission Act 1998 and for no other purpose, as set out in paragraph 36 of the Statement of Responsibilities of Auditors and of Audited Bodies prepared by the Audit Commission .
Respective responsibilities of Chief Finance Officer and auditors The Director of Finance is responsible for preparing the Annual Report in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice 'Financial Reports of Pension Schemes 2002'. My responsibility is to report to you my opinion on the consistency of the financial statements within the Annual Report with the statutory financial statements. I also read the other information contained in the Annual
Report and consider the implications for my report if I become aware of any misstatements or material inconsistencies with the statutory financial statements.
Basis of opinion I conducted my work in accordance with paragraphs 15-18 of Bulletin 1999/6 'The auditors' statement on the summary financial statement' issued by the Auditing Practices Board.
Opinion In my opinion the financial statements included in the Annual Report are consistent with the statutory financial statements of Wirral Council for the year ended 31 March 2007. District Auditor. Name Judith Tench Signature:
Address: Audit Commission The Heath Runcorn Cheshire WA7 4QX Date:228 September 20079 September 2006
Peter Mawdsley, Principal Pensions Officer
Merseyside Pension Fund operates the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), which provides for the occupational pensions of employees, other than teachers, police officers and fire fighters, of the local authorities within the Merseyside area. It also operates the Scheme for members of other organisations, which have made admission agreements with the Fund. A list of the participating employers is shown at Appendix A. The Scheme is a public service pension scheme regulated by statute through the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It is a contributory final salary scheme, which is contracted out of the Second State Pension and is exempt approved for tax purposes.
Development of the Scheme Since 1922 the Local Government Pension Scheme has developed from a scheme which just provided pensions for officers only, to today’s Scheme which provides pensions and lump sums for all members; spouses, civil partners and children’s pensions, ill health, redundancy and death cover. Quite clearly it is a comprehensive scheme and yet, through the cooperation of the Government, employer and employee representatives, the Scheme is constantly changing and adapting to modern day needs and demands. Amendments were made to the LGPS regulations from 6 April 2006 to reflect changes made by HM Revenue & Customs to the tax treatment of pensions and to remove the “85 year” rule on retirement before the normal retirement age of 65 with effect from 1 October 2006 in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the Scheme. Discussions are also still continuing on the extent of transitional protection to be given to members affected by the removal of the 85 year rule.
During the course of 2006 a major consultation exercise was undertaken both nationally and locally to agree the basis for a new Scheme to be introduced from 1 April 2008. The new LGPS (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007 were issued in April 2007 and further regulations and guidance is currently still awaited from the DCLG. The Fund will be carrying out a further major communication project to publicise the provisions of the new Scheme in the run up to its implementation on 1 April 2008.
Legislation The principal regulations were amended during the year by the following statutory instruments: The Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (Into force from 1 and 6 April and 1 October 2006) The regulations made changes linked to the introduction of the new simplified tax regime including increasing the maximum tax free lump sum available by commutation and introducing “flexible
31 March 2007
31 March 2006
retirementâ€? arrangements to the Scheme. They also make provision for the abolition of the 85 year rule from 1 October 2006, subject to further discussions on transitional protection.
z Introduce tapered protection for those who retire having attained age 60 on or after 1 April 2016 and before 1 April 2020, who would have satisfied the 85 year rule before the latter date.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2006 (Into force from 1 October 2006) The regulations extended the transitional protection in respect of the changes to the 85 year rule to:
The Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) Regulations 2006 (Into force 29 November 2006 retrospective to 1 October 2006)
z Permit all those who were active members before 1 October 2006 to continue to count membership up to 31 March 2008. z Extend full protection for post 1 April 2008 membership for those who attained age 60 and satisfied the 85 year rule before 1 April 2016, rather than 2013.
The regulations revised the compensation arrangements available to local authorities to comply with new age discrimination legislation and introduced new lump sum compensation arrangements to replace compensatory added years.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007 (Into force 1 April 2008) The regulations introduce the NEW LOOK Scheme from 1 April 2008 based on a higher 1/60th accrual rate for future membership and introduce tiered employee contributions and a range of benefit changes and improvements including partners pensions. Membership earned prior to 1 April 2008 will continue to be calculated based on the old 1/80th pension and 3/80ths lump sum basis. Separate regulations dealing with Administration and Transitional Provisions are still awaited.
Service Standards Charter Results of performance against target are shown below: Performance Targets
Within Target %
Payment of retirement benefits
Payment of monthly pensions
Payment of Transfer Values
Provision of inward transfer quotes
Payment of refunds
Provide mis-selling costs
Provide valuation in divorce cases
Respond to members enquiries
(Details given in respect of 12 month period to 31 March 2007)
Key Improvement Areas The key improvement areas identified for the pension administration unit are as follows: 1. Improved efficiency through development of information technology capability and application. Scheme members are now able to gain online access to their own pension details and to perform benefit projections, to enable them to see the value of their benefits through the internet. Further development and enhancement of these facilities is to take place. 2. Enhanced communications, consultation and marketing of the benefits of the Scheme to employers, employees and beneficiaries. Further improvements to the range of scheme literature and the Fund website are planned as part of the communication required of the future scheme changes as modernisation continues in the run up to April 2008.
service provision to Scheme members. Further work is underway both within the Fund and with partners to extend the training opportunities available for scheme members, employers and elected members. 4. Efforts to increase take up of Scheme membership. A major review of the current arrangements for promotion of the Scheme is underway in conjunction with employers, in an effort to identify any improvements required to ensure Scheme members maximise their pension opportunities.
Comparisons/Benchmarking The Fund continues to participate in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) annual benchmarking survey. The results of unit cost comparison for the most recent report published (2005/2006) were as follows:
3. Development of training policies and procedures to ensure the quality of
Merseyside Pension Fund
CIPFA Average Private Sector in–House Private Sector Outsourced
£22.80 £42.55 £32.61
£22.23 £37.81 £29.05
The individual totals within the survey showed that the Fund had a lower cost for staff and pensions payroll than the CIPFA average, but had a higher expenditure on Communications, which includes postage of relevant information to membersâ€™ home addresses. The Fund is also continuing to participate in a benchmarking forum consisting of representatives of five of the largest Metropolitan Administering Authorities in an effort to seek out best practice. Internal Dispute Resolution Cases Since 1 June 2004, individual employers are responsible for considering stage 1 appeals against decisions made by them, with the Fund responsible for considering stage 1 appeals against its own decisions and all stage 2 appeals, instead of the Department for
Communities and Local Government. During the year to 31 March 2007, there were two new cases dealt with by the panel of Appointed Persons responsible for complaints against decisions made by the Fund which upheld the decisions made by the Fund. A total of 8 new cases were dealt with by the panel of Appointed Persons responsible for considering Stage 2 appeals against employer decisions. As in previous years the majority of cases have concerned either refusal to grant ill health retirement (4) or to bring preserved benefits into payment early on ill health grounds (3). Of these appeals against employer decisions two ill health retirement appeals were successful, one appeal was withdrawn, one was still ongoing and in the remaining four cases the employer decision was upheld.
Breakdown of Appeals against Employer Decisions
0 Refused ill health retirement
Refused deferred benefit on ill health grounds
Refused early retirement
Consulting Actuaryâ€™s Statement
Appendix A Employer Membership CURRENT SCHEDULED BODIES Academy of St Francis Birkenhead School (2002) Birkenhead Sixth Form College Burton Manor Residential Home Carmel College Halewood Parish Council Hugh Baird College King George V College Knowsley Community College Knowsley MBC Knowsley Parish Council Liverpool City Council Liverpool Community College Liverpool John Moores University Mersey Waste Holdings Limited Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority
Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive Merseyside Police Authority Merseyside Valuation and Community Charge Tribunal Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority National Probation Service (Merseyside) North Liverpool Academy Prescot Town Council Rainford Parish Council Rainhill Parish Council Sefton MBC Southport College St. Helens Community College St. Helens MBC Whiston Parish Council Wirral Metropolitan College Wirral MBC Woodchurch High School
CURRENT ADMISSION BODIES 2020 Knowsley Parkman 2020 Liverpool Parkman Age Concern - Liverpool Arriva North West Association of Police Authorities Beechwood & Ballantyne Housing Association Beechwood Educare Centre Berrybridge Housing Ltd. Birkenhead Citizens Advice Bureau Birkenhead Market Services C.I.C. Drug Services Catholic Childrens’ Society CDS Housing Cobalt Housing Ltd. Commission for Social Care Inspection Community Technical Services Agency Enterprise (Liverpool Cleansing) Enterprise (Liverpool Grounds) Enterprise (Liverpool Housing) Enterprise (Liverpool Highways) Ltd Enterprise (St. Helens) Geraud Markets (Liverpool) Ltd. Glendale Managed Services Glenvale Transport Ltd. Greater Hornby Homes Greater Merseyside Connexions Green Apprentices Ltd Groundwork Trust Ltd. Helena Housing Hopkinson Catering (Sacred Heart School) Jarvis Workplace FM Ltd (Liverpool Schools) Jarvis Workplace FM Ltd. (Wirral Schools) Knowsley Housing Trust LACORS/LACOTS Lairdside Communities Trust Lee Valley Housing Association Ltd. Libraries North West Liverpool 8 Law Centre Liverpool Association for the Disabled Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau Liverpool Community Rights
Liverpool Council for Social Aid Liverpool Hope University College Liverpool Housing Trust Liverpool John Lennon Airport PLC Liverpool Vision Local Government Association Local Government International Bureau Mellors Catering Services Ltd Merseyside Lieutenancy Merseyside Society for the Deaf Merseyside Welfare Rights Merseyside Youth Association Mott McDonald (M.I.S.) Netherley Citizens Advice Bureau North Huyton New Deal New Future North Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau Novas Group Nugent Care OH Solutions One Vision Housing Partners Credit Union Sefton Education Business Partnership Sir Robert Jones Memorial Workshops South Liverpool Housing Ltd. Southern Neighbourhood Council St. Gabriel’s Community Home Taylor Shaw Catering Ltd. (St Wilfred’s) Taylor Shaw (New Heys School) The Peoples Centre The Port Sunlight Village Trust University of Liverpool Upton Hall Convent Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council Village Housing Association Ltd. Vinci Services Ltd. (Holst FM) Vinci Services Ltd. (Lorne Stewart) Wavertree Citizens Advice Bureau Wirral Autistic Society Wirral Council for Voluntary Services Wirral Partnership Homes (Building Services) Ltd. Wirral Partnership Homes Ltd.
Appendix B Pensions Committee Items Audit Plan 2006/07
Merseyside Special Investment Fund
Debt Write Offs
Standard Life Assurance Company Proposed Demutualisation
Liverpool & Knowsley Family Service Unit
Private Equity Three Year Allocation Programme
Private Equity - Investment In Blackstone V Management of European Equities
25 September 2006 Merseyside Pension Fund: Audited Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2006
Admission Body Application - Glendale (Liverpool) Liverpool City Council - Parks Grounds Contract Admission Body Application Enterprise (Liverpool) Liverpool City Council - Neighbourhood Grounds Maintenance Contract Minutes of the Investment Monitoring Working Party
Audit Commission - Audit Opinion for Merseyside Pension Fund
29 January 2007
Management Representation Letter
Annual Audit Letter 2005-06
Abatement of Pension on Re-Employment
Pension Fund Budget 2007-2008
Local Government Pension Scheme Governance Arrangements
Pensions White Paper
The LGPS (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2006 Changes to the 85 Year Rule Funding Strategy Statement Review of Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) Consultation on New Look Local Government Pension Scheme Member Training Programme 2007
The Draft Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership And Contributions) Regulations 2007 Treasury Management Plan and Strategy 2007-08 Draft Local Government Pension Scheme Administration Regulations 2007 Draft Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2007
Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards 2006 LGPS Trustees Conference Leeds
Climate Change Conference Held October 2006 Summary of Costs
The Committee met on 5 occasions during 2006/07 to discuss the following items. Reports from the Investment Monitoring Working Party are also considered at Committee.
LGPS Trustee Training
26 March 2007
LGC Seminar Local Government Pension Scheme Annual Employers Conference
Finance Department Plan
27 June 2006
The IIGCC European Conference; Managing Investments in a Changing Climate.
Local Government Pension Scheme Reform The Draft Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2007
Interim Actuarial Review as at 31 March 2006
Authorised Signatories For Investments
Admission Body Application – One Vision Housing Limited
Pension Fund Investment Accounting System
WIRRAL MBC PENSIONS COMMITTEE
Merseyside Pension Fund Accounts: Year Ended 31 March 2006 Review of Scheme AVC Investment Funds Offered Investment Performance 2005 - 2006 Pensions White Paper Early Termination of Employment Discretionary Compensation Regulations 2006: Consultation Draft The LGPS (Amendment) Regulations 2006 and the Draft LGPS (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2006 Pension Commission - Third and Final Report April 2006 Representation on Committee Admission Body Application – Taylor Shaw Catering - Outsourcing Contract with Liverpool City Council – New Heys School Admission Body Application – OH Solutions Ltd - Outsourcing Contract with Liverpool City Council – Liverpool Occupational Health Services Public Sector Pension Fund Investment Conference Merseyside Community Youth Games
Closure of Admission Body – Liverpool & Knowsley Family Service Unit Closure of Admission Body – Groundwork Trust Greater Merseyside Connexions - Request for Reduction in Amount of Bond Required Review of Potential Unfunded Liabilities for Admission Bodies Management of European Equities: Appointment of JP Morgan Asset Management
NAPF Review of Compliance With Myners Principles
Replacement of Server For Pensions 4 - Electronic Document Workflow System Members Training 2007 CIPFA Annual Conference National Association of Pension Funds Conference United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) Investment Monitoring Working Party Minutes 28 February 2007 Management of U.S. Equities
27 November 2006 Consultation on the Local Government Pension Scheme Consultation on Changes to Trivial Pensions and AVC Contribution Arrangements
Administration of the Firefighters Pension Scheme
The Local Government (Early Termination of Employment)- (Discretionary Compensation) Regulations 2006
External Investment Mandates
Proposed National Pensions Savings Scheme
Keel Row Blyth, Acceptance of Tender Write Off of Rental Income
Staffing Review - Pensions Investments and Operations Climate Change
Representation on Outside Bodies
LGC Pension Fund Investment Seminar
Alternative Investments: Work of Art
Sir Robert Jones Workshops
3 Admission Body Applications - Taylor Shaw Catering - Outsourcing Contracts with Sefton Borough Council
INVESTMENT MONITORING WORKING PARTY Meetings were held on:- 31 May 2006, 12 September 2006, 22 November 2006 and 28 February 2007.
Appendix C Information Contacts MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND Internet Website Address: www.merseysidepensionfund.org.uk Area
Head of Pension Fund
0151 242 1309
Principal Pension Officer
0151 242 1333
0151 242 1307
0151 242 1316
0151 242 1369
0151 242 1354
0151 242 1361
Principal Pensions Officer
0151 242 1333
Director of Finance
0151 666 3056
0151 522 2807
RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
SCHEME EMPLOYERS CONTACTS Arriva North West Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service
0151 296 4219
0151 443 4177
Liverpool City Council
0151 225 4128
Liverpool John Moores University
0151 231 3401
0151 330 1191
National Probation Service (Merseyside)
0151 920 9201
Merseyside Police Authority
0151 777 8252
0151 934 4127
St. Helens MBC
Waste Disposal Authority
0151 255 1444
0151 666 3524
Merseyside Pension Fund PO Box 120, Castle Chambers, 43 Castle Street, Liverpool L69 2NW. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.merseysidepensionfund.org.uk