Judicial Pension Board terms of reference

Terms of reference for the board, which helps the Lord Chancellor to manage and govern the judicial pension schemes.

1. Introduction

As part of changes to judicial pension arrangements, in the form of the New Judicial Pension Scheme, a new governance framework has been established over the judicial pension schemes to ensure confidence in the scheme of both scheme members and taxpayers. This is set out in the Judicial Pensions Regulations 2015 (JPR15) which are in line with requirements in the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 (PSPA13).

The Lord Chancellor has been appointed as the ‘Responsible Authority’ for the schemes, and as such, may make scheme regulations. In addition to this, the Lord Chancellor has also been appointed as the ‘Scheme Manager’, and as such, is responsible for managing and administering the scheme.

Furthermore, each public service pension scheme, including the judicial pension scheme, is to establish individual Pension Boards to support and assist the Scheme Manager in the exercising of his role. In the judicial pension schemes, this is to be fulfilled by the ‘Judicial Pension Board (JPB)’.

2. Scheme Manager

The Lord Chancellor in his role of Scheme Manager has delegated his functions to the Director of Judicial Policy, Pay and Pensions. This is in accordance with section 5 of the JPR15 and the power to delegate.

3. Establishment

The Judicial Pension Board was established under the JPR15, which are made under the PSPA13.

4. Purpose

The purpose of the JPB is to assist the Scheme Manager in 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;

  • the requirements in relation to the scheme and any connected scheme by the Pensions Regulator.

The JPB is also responsible for assisting the Scheme Manager in the performance of his functions under JPR15.

5. Scope

The Judicial Pension Board will exercise its responsibilities in relation to all the judicial pension schemes set out in Annex A.

The Northern Ireland Judicial Pension Board will have scope over devolved judiciary in Northern Ireland.1 Under administrative arrangement with the Ministry of Justice, the Department has agreed that those devolved members of judicial pension schemes managed by Ministry of Justice on a UK-wide basis, will fall within the scope of Ministry of Justice for the purposes of scheme management, and thus of the Judicial Pension Board and not the Northern Ireland Judicial Pension Board.

6. Roles and responsibilities

In line with this, the JPB will have oversight on behalf of the Scheme Manager in the following areas:

  • Assurance and governance of the administration of the judicial pension schemes;
  • Performance of the third party scheme administrator throughout the implementation phase and into the future through the analysis of management information and key performance indicators, providing challenge where appropriate;
  • Effectiveness and value for money of the administration of the judicial pension schemes by Punter Southall, the third party administrator and the support received from MoJ Judicial Pay and Pensions;
  • Internal control procedures; contributing to the planning of risk management and audit programmes, as well as making and reviewing progress on recommendations as appropriate;
  • Consideration of the Pension Regulator’s annual report on public service pension schemes and provision of responses to its recommendations;
  • Compliance with the record keeping requirements as set out in The Public Service Pensions (Record Keeping and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014;
  • Communications to members, including the extent to which the scheme administrators are engaging members and informing them about their scheme;
  • Reviewing trends and patterns in the information provided by the scheme administrator, and making recommendations to the Scheme Manager as appropriate;
  • Considering appeals, complaints and providing the Scheme Manager with a recommendation under stage 2 of the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure.
  • Providing recommendations to the Scheme Manager in respect of the exercising of any discretionary decisions under the JPR15. However, in line with regulation 4(6), the scheme manager and the Judicial Pension Board may agree that the requirements for consideration by the Judicial Pension Board do not apply to specific discretions or in specific circumstances.

7. Membership

The Independent Chair of the JPB will be appointed by the Scheme Manager, and this appointment will adhere to the processes of the Office of the Commissioner on Public Appointments (OCPA).

The JPB will also feature two further independent non-executive board members to bring experience of best practice; independent advice; challenge; pensions technical expertise; and experience of operational delivery. These appointments will also be subject to the OCPA processes, and will be non-voting members.

In addition, there will be an equal number of members from the employers (Ministry of Justice, Scottish Government and Department of Justice), including the relevant departmental finance director, and from the scheme membership (the judiciary). All board members are to be formally appointed by the Independent Chair of the Board.

The member representatives will be nominated by the Lord Chief Justice, in consultation with the other Heads of Jurisdiction. There are four judicial representatives on the board and these will all be voting members.

The employer members will be nominated by the Scheme Manager. There will be three employer representatives from MoJ, and these will all be voting members. In addition, there will be a representative from both the Scottish Government and Department of Justice who will share a single vote and attend to board member responsibilities on a rotating basis.

Members of the JPB will represent the interests of all stakeholders of the scheme, including the employers, the scheme members, and the taxpayer, and not simply the interests of the constituency that nominated them.

Members are expected to attend all meetings, and no alternate representation or substitution is allowed.

The performance of board members will be evaluated on a periodic basis to ensure that all members are adequately meeting their duties. This will be undertaken by the Independent Chair.

8. Expertise

It may be necessary to draw on particular experts to support the responsibilities of the JPB, such as actuarial or legal support. This will be done on an ‘as required’ basis, and any expert advisor attending the meeting will only do so in an attendant basis, and will not have a vote.

9. Quorum

A minimum of five members, including a minimum of two voting representatives from both the employer and the scheme membership will be required for a quorum.

10. Decision-making process

The JPB will make formal decisions in order to provide recommendations to the Scheme Manager on a number of areas. The JPB is expected to operate on a consensus basis.

However, in the event a consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken. All member and employer representatives will have voting rights, with the casting vote in the event of a tie resting with the Independent Chair.

11. Frequency of meetings

The JPB will sit quarterly. The JPB may make a recommendation to the Scheme Manager to amend the frequency of meetings.

The Independent Chair may call for an additional meeting of the JPB outside of the agreed quarterly schedule at any time, providing at least two weeks’ notice of the meeting where it is practicable to do so.

12. Committees and subgroups

At present, there are no committees or subgroups reporting to the JPB. However, the JPB will retain the power to establish such groups to focus on specific matters in the future as it sees fit.

13. Reporting

The JPB will provide an annual report to the Scheme Manager to provide assurance to that the Board has fulfilled its roles and responsibilities. The Independent Chair will meet annually with the Scheme Manager, and with the relevant Director in the Ministry of Justice as appropriate.

14. Publishing of information

In order to demonstrate that the scheme is being run effectively and efficiently, specific information on the JPB will be published and made easily accessible to all scheme members. This information will be hosted on the internet.

This information will include:

  • The full terms of reference for the JPB;
  • Who the JPB members are and how members of the scheme are represented on the JPB;
  • Attendance at JPB meetings;
  • The appointment process of members to the JPB; and
  • Summary minutes of board meetings (redacted where appropriate to respect confidentiality or the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998).

15. Conflicts of Interest

The JPR requires that JPB members do not have conflicts of interest. As such, all members of the JPB are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest and this is an ongoing requirement.

16. Review and changes to the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference of the JPB will be reviewed annually to ensure suitability, and will be subject to periodic review into the future. The JPB may make recommendations to the Scheme Manager with regard to potential changes to these Terms of Reference and accompanying annexes.

17. Board effectiveness

The JPB will review their effectiveness against the Terms of Reference on an annual basis.

18. Other

The JPB may consider any other items specifically referred to it and make recommendations specifically delegated to it as appropriate.

Annex A: Connected pension schemes

A schedule of existing pension schemes determined as “connected schemes” to the New Judicial Pension Scheme is outlined in Schedule 5 to the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

These are highlighted below.

  • A scheme constituted by section 20 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907.
  • A scheme constituted by paragraph 23 of Schedule 9 to the Agriculture Act 1947, so far as relating to payment of pension benefits.
  • A scheme constituted by or made under any provision of Part XIII of the County Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (c. 25 (NI)).
  • A scheme constituted by or made under any provision of the District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 1960 (c. 2 (NI)).
  • A scheme constituted by or made under any provision of the Sheriffs’ Pensions (Scotland) Act 1961.
  • A scheme under paragraph 7A of Schedule 10 to the Rent Act 1977
    • Exception: injury benefits and compensation benefits
  • A scheme constituted by or made under any provision of the Judicial Pensions Act 1981.
    • Exception: injury benefits under a scheme constituted by or made under Part 3 of Schedule 1 to that Act
  • A scheme constituted by paragraph 9 of Schedule 4 to the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984.
  • A scheme constituted by or made under any provision of Part 1 or section 19 of the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993.
    • Exception: benefits payable to or in respect of a holder of a devolved office
  • A scheme constituted by paragraph 4(1) of Schedule 1 to the Scottish Land Court Act 1993.
  • A scheme constituted by or made under paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 13).
  • A scheme constituted by or made under paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 4).
  • A scheme constituted by paragraph 2(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (asp 10), so far as relating to payment of pension benefits.
  • A scheme constituted by paragraph 6(3) of Schedule 11 to the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 (nawm 1).

Annex B: Support from the Ministry of Justice

Support for the Judicial Pension Board (JPB) will be provided by officials from the relevant directorate in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). This is currently determined as Judicial Policy, Pay and Pensions.

Officials from the MoJ will provide support to the Scheme Manager and the JPB in the following areas:

  • ensure that sufficient levels of training are available to all JPB members to maintain required levels of knowledge and understanding.
  • manage the day to day operation of the scheme and the relationship with the service providers.
  • provide secretariat support for meetings, ensuring appropriate levels of facilitation and logistical support. Officials will ensure an annual schedule of meetings is maintained.
  • issue papers to JPB members at least 7 days before each meeting, unless prior authorisation of the Independent Chair has been received.
  • record minutes of all JPB meetings, including any and all subcommittee meetings. Draft minutes will be circulated to the JPB members, and will be ratified at the next JPB meeting. These minutes will then be published on the relevant internet site and redacted where appropriate to respect confidentiality or the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Meetings will be held at the offices of Punter Southall, 11 Strand, London, WC2N 5HR.


1. The “devolved judiciary” are all judicial office-holders in Northern Ireland who are NOT listed in paragraph 11 of Schedule 2 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Published 18 April 2016