Myners Principle applied to Shropshire Council Pension Fund

MsWelch made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Shropshire Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Shropshire Council,

SCPF is going to considerable lengths to avoid defining tax payers as ‘stakeholders’ in the fund, despite having used this descriptor in the Annual Report for many years.

The latest report now denies that tax payers are stakeholders on one page, while still including the definition that council tax payers are stakeholders, on another page.

Regardless of whatever title the fund wishes to attach to council tax payers, the Myners Principle is clear that the interests of tax payers are to be included.

Appendix A lists the Myners Principles, and under point 3 for Risks and Liabilities, it clearly states that the fund must “ include the implications for local taxpayers.”

1. Does SCPF comply with the Myners Principles?

2. Does SCPF accept the statement that there are implications for local tax payers?

3. If you have answered affirmative to either question 1 or 2 :

• Will you therefore explain the implications for local taxpayers.

• Include specific reference to implications regarding the financial support given to the fossil fuel industry thus enabling their continued carbon emissions and the impact of this on the future health and wellbeing of, in particular, the younger members of the fund.

• Relate this to the legal duty of a pension fund to treat members “fairly as between them”. Meaning that the longer-term interests of younger members, who will be affected more severely by the climate crisis than current pension beneficiaries, must be taken seriously. Hence younger people face a greater risk in their lifetime from the fund supporting fossil fuel companies.

• What descriptor does SCPF propose to use for tax payers in place of ‘stakeholder’?

4. If you have disagreed with question 2, explain why this part of the Myners Principle does not apply to SCPF.

If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.

I understand that under the act I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing (by email) that you have received this request.

Yours faithfully,
Kris Welch

FOI, Shropshire Council

Dear Ms Welch

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 16/10/2020.  We are
currently processing your request in accordance with the relevant
legislation.

 

Your request is for information about the use of Myners Principle by the
Shropshire County Pension Fund.

 

- This is a summary only and full details have been sent to the team
providing the response.

- If you feel the information is inaccurate or requires amendment, please
notify us as soon as possible using the contact details provided below. 

 
Please note:
 
The Council has been facing unprecedented challenges this year. Firstly,
in response to the flooding in February and now in responding to the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During this time, resources may have to
be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. The
council acknowledges that it can’t extend statutory timescales of requests
and everyone is doing their best to meet these. However, priority may have
to be given to other areas, eg the safeguarding of vulnerable people,
during this extraordinary period.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has blogged about their approach to
requests during this time: [1]blog
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office has released a statement about Data
Protection and the Coronavirus here: [2]statement

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Shropshire Council

Shirehall

Abbey Foregate

SHREWSBURY

SY2 6ND

 

Tel:                  01743 252179 / 252774 / 252747

Email:             [Shropshire Council request email]

Web:               [3]www.shropshire.gov.uk/access-to-information

 

 

 

[4]For information about Coronavirus click here/image below
[5][IMG]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...
2. https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/access-to-i...
4. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
5. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

James Walton, Shropshire Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Welch

 

Please find attached the SCPF Annual Report.  Please refer to the
 Investment Strategy Statement, Funding Strategy Statement, top 10
holdings section and the Corporate Governance sections of the report which
provides further details.

 

We cannot comment specifically on the younger members of the Fund as the
Fund is managed in the best interests of all members with the prime aim to
pay pensions.

 

James Walton

Director of Finance, Governance and Assurance (Section 151 Officer)

 

Finance, Governance and Assurance

Shropshire Council

Shirehall

Abbey Foregate

Shrewsbury

SY2 6ND

 

Email:      [1][email address]

Web        [2]www.shropshire.gov.uk

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Chief Financial Officer (Section 151 Officer): Shropshire Council

Pension Scheme Administrator: Shropshire County Pension Fund

Treasurer: Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority

Treasurer: West Mercia Energy

Treasurer: Marches LEP

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear James Walton,

Thank you for you recent communication, but regretfully I consider that it was an inadequate response to the request in the following areas.

A question to the SCPF committee meeting in July 2020 resulted in SCPF denying that council tax payers are stakeholders. This was surprising since annual reports up to that point stated that tax payers are stakeholders. However this years annual report (page 73) has been altered to reflect the new position although this is contradicted in another section (page 118).

The denial of tax payers being stakeholders appears incompatible with adherence to the Myners Principle, specifically point 3 (page 125) which clearly states that the fund must “include the implications for local taxpayers.”

Seeking clarity to the mixed messages and the inconsistency in this year’s annual report is not unreasonable. Please give clear yes/no answers to the first two questions, specifically:

1) Does SCPF comply with the Myners Principles?
2) Does SCPF accept the statement that there are implications for local tax payers?

If the fund does comply with the Myners Principle and specifically point 3, then asking for clarity over the implications for local taxpayers, and what alternative descriptor the fund wishes to use for council tax payers instead of ‘stakeholders’ is also not unreasonable. To reiterate the original questions:

3) Will you therefore explain the implications for local taxpayers.
4) What descriptor does SCPF propose to use for tax payers in place of ‘stakeholder’

Yours sincerely,
Mrs Welch

James Walton, Shropshire Council

James Walton is out of the office until 2 November 2020.

 

James will respond to your email upon return.  If the matter is urgent,
please contact Sam Davies, [email address], or tel: 01743
257775.

 

If this is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act,
or similar legislation, please submit your request using our online form,
at
[1]www.shropshire.gov.uk/access-to-information/request-general-information

 

[2]For information about Coronavirus click here/image below
[3][IMG]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.shropshire.gov.uk/access-to-information/request-general-information
2. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
3. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Tom Mullen, Shropshire Council

Dear Mrs Welch,

 

Thank you for your email. We will arrange for an internal review of your
information request to be carried out.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Tom

 

Information Governance Team

Shropshire Council

Shirehall

Abbey Foregate

SHREWSBURY

SY2 6ND

 

Tel:                         01743 252179 / 01743 252774

Email:                    [1][Shropshire Council request email]

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Information.Request, Shropshire Council

Dear Mrs Welch,

 

Please find below in red the responses to your internal review and the
follow up questions you asked following receipt of your FOI request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. You can find more details at [1]www.ico.org.uk or by telephone on
0303 123 1113.

 

Kind Regards

 

Tom

 

Information Governance Team

Shropshire Council

Shirehall

Abbey Foregate

SHREWSBURY

SY2 6ND

 

Telephone: 01743 252179

Email: [2][Shropshire Council request email]

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir