The Finance and Investments team focuses on:
- the investment, actuarial and financial aspects of the Fund
- implementing and monitoring compliance with the Fund's Investment Strategy
- managing the triennial actuarial valuation and liaising with employers on actuarial issues and outsourcing of services
- managing the Fund's accounts
Finance and Investments documents
The following documents outline how the Fund operates:
The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 require an administering authority to publish a pension fund annual report on or before 1st December following the Scheme year end. This annual report should contain an external auditor’s opinion on the pension fund’s statement of accounts, which is a ‘consistent with’ opinion referring to that given on the administering authority’s statement of accounts. Unfortunately due to a delay in the opinion being issued on the administering authority’s statement of accounts, the Fund is unable to comply with the requirements set out above.
The annual report will be republished once the external auditor has issued an opinion on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s statement of accounts.
The report includes the accounts for the year, changes to the LGPS together with details of membership and changes to basic scheme details that have either taken place during the year or are proposed for the future. In addition, the report includes the Actuarial Statement applicable for the year and a report on Investments and Investment performance for the year.
The report conforms broadly in content and in form with the requirements of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 1996 made under the Pensions Act 1995 and is compiled in line with the guidelines set out in the Statement of Recommended Practice, Financial Reports of Pension Schemes.
Each year the Avon Pension Fund Committee reports on its activities to Bath & North East Somerset Council. The report covers the scope of the work considered by the Committee during the year and the decisions taken as well as the training undertaken by the Committee members. It also highlights the future work programme of the current committee.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 2016 requires administering authorities to publish an Investment Strategy Statement (ISS). This statement sets out the Fund’s strategy and, among other things, details the policy on the suitability and risk attached to various types of investments. The ISS will be kept under review and revised from time-to-time and at least every three years.
The Fund has a Responsible Investing (RI) Policy in place to address RI and sustainability across the investment portfolio. This sets the basis for strategic asset allocation and enables the Fund to innovate as investment solutions that address our objectives are developed.
The Policy defines the Fund’s RI principles, sets out how the identification and management of environmental, social and governance risks that may be financially material to the Fund is consistent with our fiduciary duty to members, and clarifies how we seek to implement the RI policy, including active ownership, reporting and stakeholder engagement, collaboration and advice.
Currently climate change is the most important RI priority for the Fund and the recent strategic review of how we invest our assets focussed specifically on climate change and resulted in changes to our asset allocation.
As the majority of our assets are now managed by Brunel Pension Partnership, we now work very closely with them and the other 9 LGPS funds within the partnership, to deliver our RI objectives. The combined influence of the partnership is significant in promoting and facilitating change within investee companies, the investment industry and with policy makers.
Our latest Annual RI Report gives a flavour of the activity by the Fund and Brunel during 2019/20.
Contacts for enquiries: Investments Team, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Funding Strategy Statement (FSS) is prepared in accordance with guidance issued by CIPFA's Pensions Panel and a draft is circulated to all the Fund's employing bodies for comment prior to approval by the Avon Pension Fund Committee. For the latest FSS this process is now complete.
The significance of the FSS is that the Fund's actuary “must have regard to it as part of the fund valuation process”. Its purpose is to set out a clear and transparent strategy that will identify how each Fund employer’s pension liabilities are to be met going forward.
The FSS must be revised if the Fund decides, after consultation with the actuary, to materially change the policy set out in the Statement.
The Fund's actuary reviews and amends employer contribution rates every 3 years.
When the actuarial valuation has been completed, the actuary prepares a report. This analyses scheme membership by type, assesses the Fund's financial position, sets out the assumptions for future inflation and investment returns and then provides a schedule of the contribution rates for each of the Fund's employing bodies. These rates are set at a level sufficient to secure the ongoing viability of the Fund. Scheme members are reminded that their own contribution rates are fixed by statute and that it is the employing bodies who must make good any shortfall in Fund assets relative to liabilities.
Copies of the actuary's report will be circulated to all the Fund's employing bodies. The next valuation will be based on membership as at 31 March 2022 with new employer contribution rates coming into effect on 1 April 2023.