The Finance Manager, Beverley White gave a verbal update on the Annual Report and Accounts for the Pension Fund, noting the process followed when gaining authorisation and publishing the Annual Report and Accounts. She explained that every LGPS had a legal requirement to publish an Annual Report with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) providing guidance on the types of information that should be included in the report. She noted that information included: the accounts themselves, as approved by the Council’s Audit Committee; the External Auditor’s report and opinion on the accounts; the statement of the Actuary; and the Fund’s core policy documents as approved by the Pension Fund Committee.
The Finance Manager noted that as DCC was the administrating authority for the Pension Fund, those accounts formed part of the Council’s Statement of Accounts and it was added that the Corporate Director of Resources had responsibility for approving the draft accounts and that had been completed in advance of statutory deadline of 31 July. She explained that the External Auditors, Mazars, completed their audit in the last week of September and found no major errors and only minor adjustments were required.
The Board noted that the deadline for approval of the final accounts was 30 September 2021, and the Audit Committee approved the accounts at their meeting on 30 September 2021.
The Finance Manager added that the Pension Fund accounts also needed to be included in the Pension Fund Annual Report and accounts, with the Corporate Director of Resources having responsibility for approving the Annual Report. It was explained that the deadline was 1 December, however, External Audit required the report to be approved the same day as the accounts to ensure the accounts reported in the DCC Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund Annual Report and accounts were exactly the same. The Finance Manager noted the authorisation of the accounts on 30 September by the Corporate Director of Resources and subsequently the publication on the Council website on 28 October 2021.
The Finance Manager explained that she had provided a verbal update to the Pension Fund Committee at its meeting in October in relation to the progress of the Pension Fund accounts and Annual Report, with the final set of Pension Fund accounts reported to their meeting in December. She noted that the External Auditor also presented their report to the Pension Fund Committee in December, including their opinion on the accounts. It was added that an unqualified opinion was provided by the External Auditor, providing assurance that the Pension Fund assets were being managed and accounted for properly. The Finance Manager noted that Audit Committee Members had the opportunity to review the accounts and ask questions of the Auditor prior to being asked to approve the final set of accounts. She noted that Pension Fund Committee Members had also had opportunity to ask questions of the Pension Fund Auditor.
The Finance Manager noted she had presented a summary of the Annual Report and accounts to employers and Members at the Annual Pension Fund Meeting in November, adding that feedback was welcome in terms of any suggested improvements, notwithstanding the minimum CIPFA requirements.
That the verbal update be noted.