Guidance

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, a new governance framework was established to secure confidence in the Judicial Pension Schemes (JPS) 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 is the ‘Responsible Authority’ for the JPS, and as such, may make scheme regulations. In addition to this, the Lord Chancellor is also the ‘Scheme Manager’, and as such, is responsible for managing and administering the JPS.

Furthermore, each public service pension scheme, including the JPS, is to establish individual Pension Boards to support and assist the Scheme Manager in the exercising of this role. In the JPS, 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 Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Group Finance Director. This is in accordance with section 5 of the JPR15 and the power to delegate.

3. Establishment

The Judicial Pension Board (JPB) was established under section 6 of the JPR15.

4. Purpose

The purpose of the JPB is to assist the Scheme Manager in securing compliance with:

  • JPS regulations and other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the JPS and any statutory pension schemes that is connected with it
  • requirements in relation to the JPS 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 JPB will exercise its responsibilities in relation to all the JPS set out in Annex A.

The Northern Ireland Judicial Pension Board (NIJPB) will have scope over devolved judiciary in Northern Ireland.1 Under administrative arrangement with the MoJ, the Department of Justice Northern Ireland (DOJNI) has agreed that those devolved members of JPS managed by MOJ on a UK-wide basis, will fall within the scope of MOJ for the purposes of scheme management, and thus of the JPB and not the NIJPB.

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 JPS
  • 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 JPS 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 Pensions 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 JPS administrator is engaging members and informing them about their scheme
  • reviewing trends and patterns in the information provided by the JPS 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 JPB may agree that the requirements for consideration by the JPB 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 up to three 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 (MOJ, Scottish Government and DOJNI, including the relevant departmental finance director, and from the scheme membership (the judiciary). All JPB members are to be formally appointed by the Independent Chair of the JPB.

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 JPB 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 DOJNI who will share a single vote and attend to JPB 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 JPB 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 5 members, including a minimum of 2 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

The JPB may establish such committees or subgroups to focus on specific matters in the future as it sees fit.

The JPB has established an Administrative Committee to support the JPB in meeting its responsibilities to administer the JPS particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to the third-party administrator.

13. Reporting

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

14. Publishing of information

To demonstrate that the JPS 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 and will include:

  • the full terms of reference for the JPB
  • who the JPB members are and how members of the JPS are represented on the JPB
  • attendance at JPB meetings
  • the appointment process of members to the JPB
  • summary minutes of JPB meetings (redacted where appropriate to respect confidentiality or the requirements of the legislation

References to the JPB above should be taken to include any committee or subgroup, established under paragraph 12 above.

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.

Conflicts of Interest will be monitored and managed by the Independent Chair on an ongoing basis and in line with the JPB Conflict of Interest procedures.

16. Review and changes to the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference of the JPB will be reviewed by the Independent Chair annually to ensure suitability, and will be subject to periodic review in 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” is outlined in Schedule 5 to the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

The connected schemes are, a scheme constituted by or made under:

  • s.20 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907;
  • paragraph 23 of Schedule 9 to the Agriculture Act 1947, so far as relating to payment of pension benefits;
  • any provision of Part XIII of the County Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (c. 25 (NI));
  • any provision of the District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 1960 (c. 2 (NI));
  • any provision of the Sheriffs’ Pensions (Scotland) Act 1961;
  • paragraph 7A of Schedule 10 to the Rent Act 1977 [exception: injury benefits and compensation benefits];
  • 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];
  • paragraph 9 of Schedule 4 to the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984;
  • any provision of Part 1, Part 1A 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];
  • paragraph 4(1) of Schedule 1 to the Scottish Land Court Act 1993;
  • paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 13);
  • paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 4);
  • 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;
  • 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 Pay and Pensions.

Officials from 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

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

Footnotes

  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