In accordance with the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, a Pensions Board was established from 1 April 2015. The Pensions Board has responsibility for assisting Shropshire Council as the Funds Scheme Manager in relation to the following matters;
- securing compliance with the scheme regulations and other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the scheme and any statutory pension scheme that is connected with it;
- securing compliance with requirements imposed in relation to the scheme and any connected scheme by the Pensions Regulator;
- such other matters as the scheme regulations may specify.
The Terms of Reference of the Pensions Board specifies the role of the Pension Board including the number of scheme member and employer representatives required to be members of the Board, and the frequency and format of the meetings.
What does the Pension Board do?
The Local Pension Board will be responsible for assisting Shropshire Council, who is the Scheme Manager, to: –
Secure compliance with:
- the scheme regulations and other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the scheme and any statutory pension scheme that is connected with it;
- requirements imposed in relation to the scheme and any connected scheme by the Pensions Regulator;
- any other such other matters as the scheme regulations may specify
The Pensions Board is an oversight body and does not have decision making powers. The Pensions Board does not replace existing governance arrangements in place in the Shropshire County Pension Fund in respect of the administration of the Local Government Pension Scheme. Further information on the Fund’s Governance arrangements can be found in the Governance Compliance Statement
How is the Pension Board set up?
The Pension Board consists of 4 voting members and is constituted as follows:
- 2 employer representatives
- 2 scheme member representatives
Employer representatives sitting on the Pensions Board must be office holders or senior employees of employers in the Fund or, have experience of representing scheme employers in a similar capacity. Employer representatives can also include elected members however, no officer or elected member of the Administering Authority who is responsible for the discharge of any function of the Administering Authority under the LGPS Regulations, may serve as a member of the Pension Board. All employer representatives must have the capacity to represent Pension Fund employers.
Scheme member representatives should be scheme members of the Shropshire County Pension Fund and have the capacity to represent scheme members of the Fund. There should be an equal number of Scheme member and Employer Representatives.
An independent member and any substitute members may also be included in the composition of the Pension Board. Substitute members for Employer and Scheme Member representatives will have voting rights but an independent member or any other members appointed to the Pension Board do not have voting rights on the Pension Board.
Who are the current Pensions Board Members?
The following members were appointed in April 2015 to sit on the Pensions Board:
- Stuart Wheeler – Employer representative who is HR manager at Severnside Housing
- Liz Furey – Employer representative who is Head of Finance at Harper Adams University College
- Mike Morris– Scheme member representative and a retired member.
- Patricia Hockley– Scheme member representative and a retired member.
Mike Morris is currently the elected chair of the Pensions Board.
When does the Pensions Board meet?
The Pension Board will meet a minimum of twice in each calendar year. The meeting dates, agenda and minutes can be found on the Shropshire Council website.
How was the Pensions Board appointed?
In late 2014 and early 2015 all active, deferred and pensioner scheme members were invited to submit applications to join the Pensions Board. The available positions on the board were communicated to scheme members through email alerts, website posts and newsletter updates including the retired members biannual magazine InTouch. Employers were contacted separately about the two employer positions through email updates and employer meetings.
All applications received were subject to a selection process by the appointment panel; Claire Porter (Legal Monitoring Officer at Shropshire Council) and James Walton (Head of Finance, Governance & Assurance at Shropshire Council). Successful applicants were invited to attends interviews in March, from which where the current board were appointed.
As part of this selection process, applicants had to show that they have the relevant experience and capacity to serve on the board, although training was provided on appointment and continues to be offered where Board Members would like to develop their knowledge and experience.
The current Pension Board members were appointed to a term of office of 4 years, with a possible extension for up to a further 2 years.
Where can I find out more about the Pensions Board?
The Pensions Board meet at least twice a year and the agendas and minutes can be found on the Shropshire Council website here. The meetings are open meetings and members of the public are welcome to attend if they wish.
Shropshire County Pension Fund will also keep Scheme members informed of the work undertaken by the Pensions Board. Updates will be provided by the Fund through newsletters, email alerts, website posts and member meetings. For other interested parties who are not scheme members or employers, information is available to all through the Fund website.
Members of the Pensions Board also frequently attend pension events such as the Annual Meeting, Retired Members’ Meeting and Employer Meetings where members and employers can meet them fact-to-face and ask questions.