Judicial Pension Scheme Advisory Board terms of reference

Terms of reference for the board, which provides advice to the Lord Chancellor on possible changes to the Judicial Pension Scheme 2015.

1. Introduction

As part of changes to judicial pension arrangements, in the form of the Judicial Pension Scheme 2015 (the JPS 2015), a new governance framework was established to secure confidence in the judicial pension schemes 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 schemes, 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 scheme.

Furthermore, each public service pension scheme, including the judicial pension scheme, is to establish a Scheme Advisory Board to provide advice to the Responsible Authority, at the Responsible Authority’s request, on the desirability of making changes to the JPS 2015, this is to be fulfilled by the ‘Judicial Pension Scheme Advisory Board (JPSAB)’.

2. Establishment

The JPSAB was established under the JPR15.

3. Purpose

The purpose of the JPSAB is to provide advice to the Responsible Authority on the desirability of any changes to the JPS 2015.

4. Scope

The JPSAB will have scope over the JPS 2015 made under the JPR15 and all non-devolved judiciary in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

5. Roles and responsibilities

In line with the PSPA13, the JPSAB is:

  • Responsible for providing advice to the Responsible Authority, at the Responsible Authority’s request, on the desirability of changes to the scheme.

6. Actuarial Valuation

An actuarial valuation of the scheme is undertaken to ensure costs remain within the employer cost cap. Whilst not part of the statutory role of the JPSAB, members may be invited to provide advice to the Scheme Manager on the assumptions used in the scheme valuation. The JPSAB will consider the GAD proposal of assumptions, scrutinising the analysis undertaken by GAD and any other factors considered by them.

The JPSAB will consider whether any other information should be taken into account and give a view to the Scheme Manager on whether they have any reason to believe that the assumptions proposed are inappropriate.

The JPSAB may also discuss aspects of HM Treasury directions where they impact on the advice to be provided to the Scheme Manager.

7. Membership

The JPSAB will be set up in compliance with the JPR15.

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

The JPSAB, like the JPB, must be constituted of an equal number of employer and member representatives. It has been agreed that to ensure consistency, and to realise additional benefits with regards to continuity, the employer and member representatives on the JPB will also sit on the JPSAB.

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

It may be necessary to draw on particular experts to support the responsibilities of the JPSAB, in particular actuarial support in respect of a scheme valuation. 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.

8. Quorum

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

9. Decision-making process

The JPSAB will make formal decisions in order to provide recommendations to the Responsible Authority on the desirability of any potential changes to JPS 2015. The JPSAB 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.

10. Frequency of meetings

The JPSAB will sit as per the requests of the Responsible Authority.

11. Committees and subgroups

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

12. Reporting

The JPSAB will report to the Responsible Authority upon request, and summaries of annual activities of the JPSAB will be included in the JPB Annual Report.

13. Publishing of information

In order to demonstrate that the scheme is being run effectively and efficiently, specific information on the JPSAB 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 JPSAB
  • Who the JPSAB members are and how members of the scheme are represented on the JPSAB
  • Attendance at JPSAB meetings
  • The appointment process of members to the JPSAB
  • Summary minutes of JPSAB meetings (redacted where appropriate to respect confidentiality or the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998).

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

14. Conflicts of Interest

The JPR15 requires that JPSAB members do not have conflicts of interest. As such, all members of the JPSAB 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.

15. Review and changes to the Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference of the JPSAB will be reviewed by the Independent Chair annually to ensure suitability, and will be subject to periodic review in the future. The JPSAB may make recommendations to the Responsible Authority with regards to potential changes to these Terms of Reference and accompanying annexes.

Annex A: Support from the Ministry of Justice

Support for the Judicial Pension Scheme Advisory Board (JPSAB) 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 the MOJ will provide support to the Responsible Authority and the JPSAB in the following areas:

  • ensure that sufficient levels of training are available to all JPSAB members to maintain required levels of knowledge and understanding
  • 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 JPSAB members at least 7 days before each meeting, unless prior authorisation of the Independent Chair has been received
  • record minutes of all JPSAB meetings, including any and all subcommittee meetings
  • draft minutes will be circulated to the JPSAB members, and will be ratified at the next JPSAB meeting. These minutes will then be published on the relevant internet site, redacted where appropriate to respect confidentiality or the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998

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

Published 18 April 2016