The Executive Director, Corporate and Commercial Services submitted a report that outlined the changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme, LGPS 2014,that the Council by the end of June 2014 was required to have a statement of policy in place confirming how they would exercise their discretions within the scheme.
As part of the ongoing support from the Teesside Pension Fund for writing policies in relation to LGPS, they had produced a template document and indicated the elements where discretionary decisions were required and whether it was high, medium or low priority.
Human Resources supported by the Chief Finance Officer had completed the draft policy statement. Some of the existing discretions had been transferred over from the 'old' statement and new discretions added where required. The updated LGPS Discretionary Statement of Policy was attached at Appendix A.
No options were discussed as it was a statutory requirement.
That the draft discretions in relation to the potential needs of the Council be considered;
That individual cases were taken into account when the Council wanted to offer discretions without having to commit to approve or commit to decline in specific circumstances. The policy statement had been written to give the Council the flexibility around discretions should it be required even if only in exceptional cases;
That a Central/Corporate approval system to ensure consistency was maintained across Council services and also in relation to deferred benefits, as all cases were open to appeal and ultimately the Pensions Ombudsman; and
That the updated Discretionary Elements LGPS Policy Statement be approved.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
Following changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme, LGPS 2014, the Council by the end of June 2014 is required to have a statement of policy in place confirming how they will exercise their discretions within the scheme.