The Committee received the Dyfed Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts for 2020-21, in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014. The Dyfed Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts was presented to the Governance and Audit Committee for approval.
The following observations/issues were raised on the report:-
· Reference was made to the Committee Members record of attendance. A concern was raised in relation to the limited Committee Membership of the Dyfed Pension Fund Pension Committee and the observation that one of its members had been absent for several meetings. The Director of Corporate Services stated that by calling on the nominated substitute, the Dyfed Pension Fund Committee had been able to continue to conduct its business as normal. It was explained that it was necessary to have a nominated substitute in order to ensure a consistent level of knowledge on the subject matter was maintained. This was achieved through regular training in accordance with the training plan. Furthermore, assurance was provided that the Councillor had now returned normal duties following a period of illness.
· In recognising that 2020/21 had been a challenging year, Members acknowledged that despite this, it was pleasing to note that the Fund had accomplished a successful return.
· Clarity was sought on the reference to ‘undecided leaver’ within the Scheme Membership section of the report. The Head of Financial Services explained that the term referred to an individual who had left their employment and was awaiting processing.
· The Director of Corporate Services, in response to a query regarding commercial property, explained that area was being closely monitored. In addition, it was reported that in association with the pandemic, town centres had not been heavily invested in and consequently the impact had not been significant.
In order to provide further clarity in relation to commercial properties, the Treasury and Pension Investments Manager added that property managers diversify their investments across the entire portfolio in a balanced approach whilst proactively reviewing the percentage allocated to each separate sector.
· In response to a query was raised in relation to the timeframe of completed and outstanding cases as stated in the report, the Head of Financial Services explained that the position of the cases were reported to Dyfed Pension Fund Committee which provided confidence in that the throughput of cases being processed was acceptable.
· In response to a query, the Director of Corporate Services reported that he was satisfied with the divestment rate to date and explained that members of the Dyfed Pension Committee and Officers had a prejudicial duty and a responsibility to ensure that pensions were available for members upon retirement. Members were informed that whilst the movement in terms of divestment was balanced and was being carried out at an acceptable pace, it would however be difficult to divest without the support and cooperation of Investment Managers. In addition, it was reported that Investment Managers were actively preparing to pursue funds that had a zero or low carbon footprint, which in terms of pool funds became a complex matter to manage.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Dyfed Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21 be approved.