Details of events supported by the work of the Scheme Advisory Board can be found here.

Details of events supported by the work of the Scheme Advisory Board can be found here.

Fire Pensions Annual Conference 17-18 September 2018

We were delighted to kick off our annual fire pensions conference with a meeting of the regional chairs to discuss the progress of the fire pensions officer groups around the country. All agreed that the forums are a great opportunity for colleagues from FRAs and administrators to get together and discuss relevant issues and common themes with their peers. If you are interested in attending your local group, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The gathering of the regional chairs was closely followed by a meeting of technical group, attended by our technical community and many interested observers. Our capacity at the meeting was almost double the usual attendance, which is a testament to the popularity of the conference event.

An overwhelming 60 delegates were present for first official session of the conference – an update on issues relating to governance of the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes. Following the Chair’s introduction, we were pleased to welcome Rachel Watson from the Home Office to provide a view from central government. Attendees then heard from Tristan Ashby, chair of the Scheme Advisory Board’s Local Pension Board effectiveness committee, on the work of the committee, including a high level summary of recent governance survey results. Ian Howe of Leicestershire County Council gave a presentation on the work of the East Midlands FRAs in looking to form the first joint FPS local pension board, which was complemented by Sarah Mekins from North Yorkshire Police, discussing her experiences as chair of the largest joint Police LPB. The day ended with a networking drinks reception on the roof terrace at 18 Smith Square.

   

The day 1 presentations are available here.

The full technical/ administration AGM took place on day 2 with a full house of around 100 delegates in our Bevin Hall conference room.

    

The AGM delivered a packed agenda. Malcolm Eastwood, chair of the FPS (England) SAB, again opened the day, giving a more in-depth update on the work of the Board and challenges ahead. This was followed by an engaging government panel session with representatives from the LGA, the Home Office, and the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD). Andrew Hopkinson, in his role as national secretary to the Fire Leaders Association, then opened a discussion on public service pensions tax.

Following a short break, delegates received a fascinating update on relevant case law from colleagues at Eversheds Sutherland LLP. After which, attendees could select one of three technical workshops to join: Accurate Forecasting and the Top-Up Grant; Medical Appeals; or Combining Pension Scheme Service. All workshops were well attended and received unanimously positive feedback.

During lunch, delegates had opportunity to network with colleagues and visit the exhibition stands hosted by various suppliers and advisers to the pension scheme industry. Lunch was followed by a short feedback session from the workshop facilitators, and a welcome update on pensionable pay from Jane Marshall (Weightmans), legal advisor to the SAB. The final session of the day saw Aon launch the forthcoming FPS benchmarking exercise, outlining the intention, scope, and prospective timescales of the project. Watch this space for more information, coming soon.

Malcolm Eastwood closed the conference for 2018 with a reminder of the challenges which 2019 may bring, and thanked all for their participation and support. We echo these thanks, particularly to our speakers and exhibitors for contributing to the success of the event, and to all delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

The day 2 presentations are available here.

To view the full conference in pictures, visit our @LGAWorkforce twitter feed, #LGAfirepensions

Annual Local Pension Board wrap-up training - London - Tuesday 19 June 2018

Twenty delegates from across the FPS governance community attended the annual LPB wrap-up training event held at 18 Smith Square on 19 June 2018.

Attendees received a whistle-stop tour of the background to the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes and the Pensions Regulator attended the session to provide an overview of the 2017 Governance and Administration survey results. Malcolm Eastwood, chair of the Scheme Advisory Board (SAB), gave an update on the SAB’s work and, following a light lunch, the afternoon continued with Clair Alcock highlighting the roles and responsibilities of those involved in governance and outlining resources available to assist. The session concluded with a look at current and future issues affecting the schemes.

The full presentation slide deck from the event is available here.

The content of the course will be reviewed on an annual basis and we plan to continue to offer wrap-up training yearly, for new members to boards or those requiring a refresher session.

If you wish to enquire about full board training at your own venue, please contact the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Each board is entitled to a free training session under the Scheme Advisory Board levy. Examples of previous sessions are held here.

Fire and Police Local Pension Board Governance - London - Wednesday 9 May 2018

The joint governance event hosted by the Fire and Police Scheme Advisory Boards with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) took place on 9 May 2018 at the LGA Offices in Smith Square, London. Around 60 delegates and speakers from across the schemes attended and we would like to thank all for their participation.

A joint welcome from the Board chairs set the tone for the day and was followed by a view from the Home Office. The Pensions Regulator attended the session to give a briefing on the 2017 Governance and Administration survey results as well as outlining the roles and responsibilities of Local Pension Board (LPB) members.

Reflections on practical experiences of joint police boards, and from the chair of the Fire SAB LPB Effectiveness Committee gave context, while the final session of the day offered boards practical tips on self-assessment and adding value, with a brief look to future challenges. Delegates also had opportunity to network with colleagues and share experiences of operating LPBs over the past two to three years.

The full presentation slide deck from the event is available here.

                                      

       

      

Special members of the 2006 Firefighters' Pension Scheme - refresher workshop - London - Wednesday 2 May 2018

We were pleased to welcome around 50 delegates to the FPS 2006 Special Member workshop held on 2 May 2018 at 18 Smith Square. Our thanks go to Vicky Jenks of Shropshire Pension Fund and Chris Mulholland from GAD for their contributions, and to all delegates participating in the event.

This refresher workshop focused on the history and framework of the 2014 provisions which allowed special members to join the 2006 scheme, how this was communicated to employers and members, and gave an overview of the 2016 valuation statistics in relation to this group of members.

Scheme managers, pensions, finance and HR professionals from a range of FRAs, along with software providers, received a detailed update on the technical aspects of the amendments and had opportunity to reflect on their own experiences.

The full presentation slide deck from the event is available here.

   

    

Meeting GDPR and TPR's data requirements - London - 29 March 2018

Around 70 delegates and exhibitors attended the data seminar held at 18 Smith Square, Westminster on 29 March 2018. Thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the event.

The conference aimed to look from a pensions perspective at the requirements of becoming both GDPR compliant and meeting TPR expectations, and was intended for data controllers (scheme managers), Data Protection Officers, data processors (administrators), Local Pension Boards and industry experts.

The audience enjoyed absorbing presentations from the LGA, ITM and TPR, along with practical tips from Local Authority colleagues, and had opportunity to view some of the solutions on offer from software suppliers. 

   

   

    

The full presentation slide deck from the event is available here.

Tax Awareness Seminars

The series of regional tax awareness seminars hosted and run by Barnett Waddingham has now concluded. Thank you to those that attended and participated in the sessions.

Fire Pensions Annual Conference 9-10 October 2017

Chair, Malcolm Eastwood, addressing the audience on day two of the event.

Please click here to view the slide presentations from both days.