2020 has certainly been “different” with the COVID pandemic impact on work, people and the lockdowns. We do not deny that. We realise how working practices and options have had to change. We are very appreciative of the efforts of everyone who has kept the system functioning.
But other organisations operate on-line. We are concerned that as we begin 2021, our pension fund has never asked us for an email address, does not offer an AGM to the 100,000 members, does not offer website discussion webpages, and generally sees communication as one-way only.
We all expect retail, councils, services, and banks to consult and communicate with us by online web-based methods.
For 2020 our two major concerns were the consultations held by CPF (before the impact of COVID), and the role of Pension Board in overseeing these. At the end of 2020 we also found the Annual Report had a “Cut and Paste” Communication Strategy from the previous year.
Questions about CPF 2020 Consultations on the FSS and ISS/RIP
• The 2020 consultation on Responsible Investment Policy attracted just 8 responses.
• This could be because 100,000 CPF members were not informed of this important consultation by our payslips, Cheshire Chat or the post. ( See 2020 Consultation )
The Pensions Board and 2019 / 2020 Consultations
• The details and timing of the consultation on the Responsible Investment Policy were not on the agenda of the Pension Board meetings beforehand.
• The employers Funding Strategy consultation was also not on the agendas in late 2019 and early 2020.
Email addresses for 100,000 members of CPF
• CPF has never asked its 100,000 members for an email address.
• It has no quick way of informing members about consultations or anything.
• Our councils and other government departments all consult via emails, and use webforms to seek views on drafts, and consultations.
The revised CPF website launched in 2020
• The CPF website was relaunched in January 2020.
• CPF called it the “personalisation of the members journey” and “default channel”.
• But the website does not offer member-only discussion pages.
Cheshire Chat, on-line (March 2020)
• Cheshire Chat was publicised in our payslips in March 2020
• Page 8 stated that the Responsible Investment consultation had finished, when it was still open, which may have discouraged member involvement and interest.
• The results of the members survey on page 11 show support for an AGM, and other improvements by the fund.
Members Annual General Meeting
• Other LGPS funds hold an AGM for members.
• Many other meetings were online in 2020, resulting from COVID changes
Climate Emergencies declared by all four CPF councils
• We urge elected councillors in CWAC, Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton to ask our £6billion fund to support divestment to reach Net Zero.
• Many current investments are counter-productive to council services
• In December 2020 CPF produced a Climate Change Strategy that does not mention divestment.
Cut and Paste Communication Strategy
• The 2019 / 2020 Annual Report was published on 1 December 2020
• This is for the financial year BEFORE the impact of COVID
• The Communications Strategy is “Cut and Paste” from 2018 / 2019
PRESS RELEASE 16 – 2020 Report Card
PRESS RELEASE 15 – 2020 Consultation on Climate Change