Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Pension Fund Committee - Thursday, 6th October, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1 (2nd Floor) - 3 Shortlands, Hammersmith, W6 8DA. View directions

Contact: Debbie Yau  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Adam Peter Lang.


Declarations of interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.


At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.


Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.


Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 342 KB

This item includes an appendix that contains exempt information. Discussion of the appendix will require passing the proposed resolution at the end of the agenda to exclude members of the public and press.

Additional documents:



The open and exempt minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2022 were both approved as accurate records of the meeting.


Pension Administration Key Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 120 KB

This paper sets out a summary of the performance of the Local Pension Partnership Administration providing a pension administration service to the Hammersmith & Fulham Fund.

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed John Crowhurst, Commercial Director of the Local Pension Partnership Administration (LPPA) who was joining the meeting for the first time.


John Crowhurst introduced the report which set out a summary of the performance of the LPPA in providing a pension administration service to the Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Fund. He detailed the casework performance against the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and helpdesk calls performance as set out in Appendix 1.


Noting that only two out of the 12 case types met the KPI performance target of 95% during the period between April and June 2022, Michael Adam asked about the key issues leading to the situation. John Crowhurst advised that accurate information from the employers was indispensable for the cases, in particular those involving active members, to proceed to the next step. It also took time for staff to communicate with the members back and forth.


Councillor Laura Janes also asked for more detail in the reports on the evaluation of KPI performance in terms of the number of cases not meeting the target of 95% and the number of days lagged behind. John Crowhurst confirmed he would ask for that granular detail to be included.


In reply to Councillor Florian Chevoppe-Verdier’s enquiry, John Crowhurst said that he would check what the charge was for members’ making calls to LPPA. Councillor Adrian Pascu-Tulbure asked if the LPPA had considered a call-back service to reduce wait times. John Crowhurst said they had not considered that but could explore it further. He noted the company was looking at giving callers a queue number.


Councillor Pascu-Tulbure noted with concern that the processing of death cases saw a dramatic decline in the number of cases processed on time, due to reduced resources with only 48.8% (i.e. 86 cases) being processed within the 5-day SLA. He sought information on the number of staff involved in processing the 86 cases from April to June 2022. In response, John Crowhurst advised that among some 200 administrative staff, 35 of them were in the Bereavement Team.  In view of the LPPA’s potential adoption of a client-centric approach and increasing staff turnover, arrangements were made for colleagues to receive cross-departmental training with a view for them to becoming more resilient under the new regime.


Councillor Janes expressed concern that payment might be discharged late to beneficiaries upon a member’s death. She considered a tougher threshold should be set in this regard.  John Crowhurst highlighted the work of the dedicated Bereavement Team which would breakdown the eligible pension benefits among the beneficiaries and arrange payment once the required paperwork was completed.


Councillor Alexandra Sanderson considered it important that beneficiaries’ calls were answered in less than 5 minutes.  Councillor Janes suggested setting up a special hotline for bereavement cases. John Crowhurst remarked that there was a separate queue for beneficiaries and the waiting time was generally less.


The Chair considered the KPI performance target of 95% was ambitious and preferred a more realistic target.  John Crowhurst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Pension Administration Update pdf icon PDF 125 KB

This item provides an update on the Hammersmith & Fulham Pension Fund’s partnership with the Local Pension Partnership Administration.


Eleanor Dennis (Head of Pensions) introduced the report which provided a summary of activity in key areas of pension administration since 26 January 2022 when the H&F Pension Fund began its new partnership with LPPA. She said that the commencement of the service with LPPA had been challenging for all stakeholders, as LPPA had been implementing and familiarising themselves with the new software (UPM) and new processes while being hampered by system outage and errors coupled with large call volumes.


At the request of Councillor Laura Janes, Eleanor Dennis and David Hughes (Director of Audit, Fraud Risk and Insurance) outlined the background of John Raisin’s review report and recommendations.  The report made 32 recommendations concerning governance arrangements, investment and stakeholder management. Councillor Janes asked for a copy of the independent review report.


ACTION: Debbie Yau


Councillor Rowan Ree requested that Eleanor Dennis continued to update members on the progress made against the outstanding recommendations that concerned pension administration.  Eleanor Dennis advised that she would present the report going forward with the remaining pension administration actions to be provided to the Committee. She noted that there were other higher priority tasks such as the discretions policy outside the report’s recommendations that would be undertaken by the Pensions Administration team, that meant that at times there would be no change to the status of the report.


Councillor Ree was keen to ensure that the outstanding Annual Benefit statements could be delivered in November 2022.  John Crowhurst said that subject to information to be provided by the employers, those statements would be sent with acknowledgment of receipts by the end of November.


Noting that there were approximately 740 cases in one of the two backlogs waiting to be processed, Councillor Adrian Pascu-Tulbure said the amount was considerable and sought information on the types involved.   Eleanor Dennis said as she understood, some of these cases were requesting transferring out quotes, while cases relating to active or deferred retirement were relatively few.  She added that with the past administration the backlog had consisted of over 1,700 cases. Confirmation had already been provided by LPPA that they could commence work on the backlog in October 2022.


Noting the summary on the employer end of year process, Councillor Florian Chevoppe-Verdier asked about the types of employers which did not submit the required information and the consequence for failing to do so by the deadlines. Eleanor Dennis said that they tended to be schools and contractors like cleaning companies, or employers that no longer existed. As pension administration was not part of their core business, they thought they had no obligation to undertake related work such as storing relevant legacy payroll data. The Pensions Administration team had been working hard to remind these employers of their responsibilities and obligations under the law.  Eleanor Dennis confirmed that those employers who chose not to engage despite these efforts might be fined by the Fund in line with the pension administration strategy.


Councillor Chevoppe-Verdier was concerned whether compensation was made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Discretionary Policy pdf icon PDF 113 KB

This report recommends approval of the revised discretionary policy set out in Appendix 2 to fulfil the Council’s obligations under the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013.

Additional documents:


Eleanor Dennis (Head of Pensions) introduced the report which detailed why there was a discretionary policy for the H&F Pension Fund and recommended the Committee to approve the revised discretionary policy set out in Appendix 2.


In reply to Councillor Florian Chevoppe-Verdier’s enquiry on the definition of “spouse”, Eleanor Dennis said spouse referred to individuals that were free to marry/enter a civil partnership with each other, or cohabiting partners. To claim payment under the Cohabiting Pension, the surviving partner might need to produce supporting documentation including shared bills.


Councillor Chevoppe-Verdier noted that the LHBF might need substantial resources to handle the discretionary policy statements submitted by individual Fund employers.  Eleanor Dennis advised that the discretions had been compiled in accordance with the required pensions legislation and the Local Government Pension Scheme regulations. If required, temporary resources would be deployed to meet the challenges, and to remind employers of their obligation.  


Members approved the revised discretions policy for the H&F Pension Fund set out in Appendix 2, and agreed for the Head of Pensions to finalise, publish and engage Fund employers in respect of the revised discretions policy.


ACTION: Eleanor Dennis



The Committee approved the revised discretions policy for the H&F Pension Fund set out in Appendix 2.



Dates of future meetings

To note the dates of future meetings:

·       15 November 2022

·       28 February 2023


The dates of future meetings were noted:


· 15 November 2022

· 28 February 2023


Members requested a briefing about the impact of the mini-budget on the investment strategy and strategic asset allocation.


ACTION: Phil Triggs