Report of the Director of People Services.
7.1 Joanne Meagher (Head of Operational People Services) presented the report updating Members on the performance Surrey County Council, the pension scheme’s administrators. She advised that there had been progress in respect of recently retired staff receiving their first pension payment in timely fashion, however there was still room for further improvement and this had been impressed upon Surrey County Council. People Services officers had met with Surrey County Council to discuss concerns and it had been agreed that the key performance indicators (KPIs) be reported to the Council on a quarterly basis. Joanne Meagher advised that additional KPIs had been created to more accurately reflect the pension member experience of the service and she referred Members to the new set of KPIs as set out in appendix 3 of the report. This included more details on deferred scheme members where those members who have left the scheme without immediate payment of pension, the number of cases being processed in each area being monitored and additional information where any particular issue impacts on a KPI. Joanne Meagher confirmed that the new KPI format will take effect from December 2016.
7.2 Sarah Hay added that following a meeting with the auditors, sample testing had indicated that testing of calculations had identified that benefits were being paid correctly. However, a final report was awaited from the auditors in respect of reviewing Surrey County Council’s performance in meeting the agreed timescales and it was hoped that and update on this could be provided at the next Board meeting.
7.3 During discussions, Members enquired what the KPI performance targets were and it noted that some KPIs were more critical than others. Members also enquired about the degree of oversight that Surrey County Council councillors, along with their respective Pension Fund Committee and Pension Board, had in terms of monitoring pension administration performance.
7.4 In reply, Sarah Hay advised that the targets for most KPIs were 100%, however some KPIs were more critical than others, for instance lump sums being paid within 5 working days was more critical than ensuring new starters had been added to the pension scheme within 30 days. It was also recognised that some KPIs were affected by BT’s problems in respect of the lack of an interface for capturing all relevant data. The Council was working with Surrey County Council as part of the Section 101 Agreement in seeking improvements in performance and overcoming issues. Sarah Hay advised that there was Member level appraisal of pension administration performance at Surrey County Council and she would seek further information in respect of this. Surrey County Council Members were also receiving training to help them fulfil their role in overseeing performance. Sarah Hay added that the pension scheme was more complicated now that the other tri boroughs, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, also had their pension schemes administered by Surrey County Council.
7.5 Joanne Meagher added that Surrey County Council did not use BT for the administration of their own pension scheme, so it was a learning experience for them.