1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 The purpose of this document is to set out the Terms of Reference for the Police Pension Board for Essex Police. The Board is established by Brian Harrington as Chief Constable of the Essex Police Pension Authority (the Scheme Manager) under the powers of Section 5 of the PSPA and Regulation 13 of the Police 2015 Pension Regulations.

2. POWERS OF THE POLICE PENSION BOARD

2.1 The Board will exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this Terms of Reference.

3. FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD

3.1. The role of the Pension Board is defined by Regulation 5 of the Public Services Pension Act 2013 to assist the Scheme Manager. Those matters are:

(a) 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;

(b) Securing compliance with requirements imposed in relation to the scheme and any connected scheme by the Pensions Regulator;

(c) Such other matters as the scheme regulations may specify.3.1 .2. The Scheme

3.2 The Scheme Manager considers that assisting the Scheme Manager should be interpreted as helping the Scheme Manager, including doing work requested by the Scheme Manager in relation to such aspects of governance and administration of the scheme as the Scheme Manager determines. The specific functions of the Board as determined by the Scheme Manager above the Board's core statutory role are set are as set out in Annex A to these Terms of Reference

4. COMPOSION OF THE PENSION BOARD

4.1. Membership

4.2 The Board shall consist of six voting members as follows:

  • Three employer representatives.
  • Three member representatives.

4.3 There shall be an equal number of employer representatives and member representatives.

4.4 There shall also be the Chair and the Deputy Chair who also have the power to vote (see below in relation to their appointment).

4.5 Appointment and Removal of Chair and Deputy Chair

4.6 The Scheme Manager will appoint the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board when the Board is first constituted for a term of four years.

4.7 Where the Scheme Manager does not appoint an independent Chair:

1. The office of Chair must be filled alternatively by an employer representative and a member representative.

2. Where the Chair is an employer representative, the Deputy Chair must be a member representative and vice versa.

4.8 If the Chair or the Deputy Chair's term of office:

Terminates by natural expiry under paragraph  above, the Scheme Manager may re-appoint the Chair or the Deputy Chair for a further terms as set out in that paragraph.

Terminates for any other reason, the Scheme Manager will appoint another person to replace the outgoing party externally or from the existing member of the Board in accordance with this paragraph 4.2.

4.9 The Chair will ensure that meetings are properly conducted and the decision of the Chair on all points of procedure and order shall be final.

4.10 The role of the Deputy Chair is to assist the Chair in carrying out their functions and to carry out those functions if the Chair is not present.

4.11 The Chair or Deputy Chair may delegate any of their functions, apart from the responsibility to appoint Board members.

4.12 Appointment and Removal of Board Members

4.13 The Chair of the Board shall appoint the employer representatives and member representatives, subject to the approval of the Scheme Manager.

4.14 The eligibility and selection criteria for selecting Board members and details as to how Board members are to be removed are set out in the Police Pension Board Member Appoint and Removal Rules at Annex B.

5. DECISION MAKING AND ADMINISTRATION

5.1 Notice of Meetings, Agendas and Minutes

5.2 The Head of Pensions Governance & compliance will prepare an agenda of the Board prior to each Board meeting. 

5.3 Notice of meetings should be provided to all Board members 30 working days in advance of each meeting. If a Board member decision is required as a matter of urgency, a shorter notice period will be used.

5.4 The agenda and any papers for the Board will be issued at least 14 working days (where practicable) in advance of the meeting except in the case of matters of urgency.

5.5 Minutes of each meeting, including all actions and agreements, will be recorded and circulated to all Board members within 14 working days after the meeting.  These minutes will be subject to formal agreement by the Chair taking consideration of comments by Board members (which may be done electronically between meetings).

5.6The minutes may, at the discretion of the Chair, be edited to exclude items on the grounds that they would either involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as required under the Data Protection and Information Security Policy.

5.7 Location and Timing

5.8 Subject to the ability of the Board to meet by telephone or by other electronic means as set out in paragraph   5.10  below, the Board will normally meet at an office of the Chief Constable to be advised with the notice of the meeting.

5.9 Meetings should be within the times of 0900 hours and 1700 hours on a normal working day, apart from in exceptional circumstances agreed by all Board members and other individuals expected to attend the Board.

5.10 The Board will meet tri-annually in each calendar year. The Chair may call, or agree to call, additional meetings in exceptional circumstances. There shall also   be an ability for three of the Board members and/or the Scheme Manager to require a special meeting to be convened on notice.

5.11 Quorum and Appointment of Proxies

5.12 A meeting of the Board is quorate when:

  • Four are present.
  • The Chair or the Deputy Chair is present.
  • There are an equal number of employer and member representatives present.

The Board may meet in person, by telephone or by other electronic means, so long as each Board member can contribute to the business of the meeting simultaneously.

5.13 All Members of the Board are expected to regularly attend meetings Records of attendance of all members will be maintained (in the Record of Attendance Register) and reported to the Scheme Manager on at least an annual basis.

5.14 If for any reason a Board member cannot attend a Board meeting they are not permitted to send a proxy in their place to attend and vote at the meeting.

5.15 Voting and Decision-making

5.16 Where all Board members are present at the meeting, a decision will require approval of a majority of Board members present at the meeting.

5.17 Where a majority of the Board members is present at the meeting unanimous approval of Board members present is required.

5.18 The Board members may also make decisions by written resolution signed by all of the Board members.

5.19 Each employer and member representative on the Board will have an individual voting right. The Chair and Deputy Chair also have voting rights. (Each voting right carries equal weight).

5.20 If there is a tied vote on any issue, the Chair has a casting vote.

5.21 The results of any voting outcomes will be reported in the Board Minutes.

5.22 Creation of Working Groups/Sub-Boards

5.23 The Board has the power to set up working groups or sub-boards on whatever terms that the Board determines.

5.24 If the Board decides to create a working group or sub-board then it will prepare terms of reference for each of these sub-committees.

6. FEES AND EXPENSES

6.1 Fees

6.2 Fees and expenses of Board members are detailed below;

6.3 Fees will be paid to employer and employee member representatives at a rate determined by the Scheme Manager i.e. in accordance with Force subsistence policy.

6.4 In addition, if the Chair is an employer or member representative, they shall be paid such fees and at such rates and for such functions as determined by the Scheme Manager.

6.5 The employer of representatives on the Pension Board will allow their employee time off to allow the representative to perform the role within their normal working day.

6.6. Expenses

6.7 In addition, employer and member representatives will be entitled to claim expenses as determined by the Scheme Manager in accordance with Force subsistence policy.

7. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

7.1 The members of the Board shall always act within these Terms of Reference and in accordance with the Board's Conflicts of Interest Policy.

7.2 Though members of the Board include representatives of specific categories of stakeholder (i.e. scheme members and employers) each Board member is required to have due regard to the role of the Board as outlined in these Terms of Reference. Accordingly, all members are expected to work jointly with the key purpose of oversight of the management of the scheme, putting aside any individual views of any stakeholders. This should not prevent Board members from sharing their knowledge on how matters might impact specific stakeholders of the scheme.

7.3 The Chair of the Board must be satisfied that the Board is acting within:

  • The conflicts of interest requirements of the PSPA and the Regulations.
  • In the spirit of the Code of Practice in relation to conflicts of interest.
  • In accordance with the Board's Conflicts of Interest policy.

Each member of the Board, or a person proposed to be appointed to the Board (as well as attendees participating in the meeting) must provide the Scheme Manager with such information as he or she reasonably requires for the purposes of demonstrating that there is no conflict of interest.

8. ADVICE AND INFORMATION

8.1 The Board may appoint professional advisers, or other advisers, to advise the Board on such matters that the Board determines. This will be on an 'as required' basis. For the avoidance of doubt, any expert adviser is not a Board member.

8.2 The process for their appointment and agreeing their fees shall be on terms as the Board determines.

8.3 The Board will be supported in its role and responsibilities by the independent member.

8.4 The Board should request such information and documents from the Scheme Manager that it requires to carry out its functions. The Scheme Manager will be require to consider positively all reasonable requests in relation to the role of the Board whilst being mindful of value for money.

9. KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

9.1 Under the requirements of the PSPA a member of the Board must be conversant with:

  • The rules of the scheme.
  • Any document recording policy about the administration of the scheme which is for the time being adopted in relation to the scheme,

9.2 In addition, a member of the Board must have knowledge and understanding of:
The law relating to pensions.

Any other matters which are prescribed in Regulations.

9.3 The degree of knowledge and understanding referred to above is that appropriate for the purposes of enabling the individual properly to exercise the functions of a member of the Board.

9.4 It is for individual Board members to be satisfied that they have the appropriate degree of knowledge and understanding to enable them to properly exercise their functions as a member of the Board and therefore must comply with the Board's Knowledge and Understanding and Training Policy

10. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

10.1 The Code of Conduct shall apply in relation to the standards of conduct of Board members.

11. REPORTING ON THE BOARD'S ACTIVITIES

11.1 The Head of Pension Governance & Compliance shall provide the approved Minutes of each meeting to the Scheme Manager and produce annual reports on the Board's activity.

11.2 The Chair shall also report to the Scheme Manager.

12. REPORTING BREACHES ETC.

12.1 The Board shall report breaches of law in accordance with its reporting procedures.

13. ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC AND PUBLICATION OF PENSION BOARD INFORMATION

13.1 The following will be entitled to attend Board meetings in an observer capacity.

13.2 Legal Services, Monitoring Officer and Representative from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.

13.3 Other officers or advisers of the force or other employers involved with the management of the scheme, subject to approval in advance by the Chair, or on request by the Chair.

13.4 Any other person requested to attend by the Chair.

13.5 Any other person subject to approval in advance by the Chair,

13.6 Any such attendees will be permitted to speak on request to the Chair

14. REVIEW, INTERPRETATION AND PUBLICATION OF TERMS OF REFERENCE

14.1 These Terms of Reference have been agreed by the Board. The Board will monitor and evaluate its operation and may review these Terms of Reference from time to time.

14.2 The Terms of Reference are only effective once the Scheme Manager has provided confirmation that it approves them.

14.3 Changes to these Terms of Reference will only be approved by the Board, with the Scheme Manager's approval.

15. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION

15.1 The following words apply to the Terms of Reference:

Board Member

Means a member of the Board9this includes a reference to an employer representative, member representative and independent member)

Chair

Means the appointed Chairperson of the Pension Board

Code of Conduct

Means the code of conduct adopted by the Board.

Code of practice

Means the pension Regulator’s Code of practice No 14 entitled “Governance and administration of public service pension schemes”

Conflicts of Interest

Means the policy on conflicts of interest as adopted by the Board.

Conflicts of Interest

As defined in the PSPA

Deputy Chair

Means the appointed Deputy chairperson of the Board

Employer Representative

Means a person appointed to the Board for the purpose of representing employers for the scheme and any connected scheme.

Independent Member

Means either an employer representative, or a member representative.

Member Representative

Means a person appointed to the Board, for the purpose of representing members of the scheme.

Police pension Board member Appointment and Removal Rules

The document adopted by the Board setting out the nomination and selection procedure and how Board members are to be appointed and removed.

PSPA

The Public Services pension Act 2013 (as amended)

Regulations

The Police pensions Regulations 2015 (as amended)

Reporting Procedure

Means the procedure adopted by the Board setting out the board’s procedure for reporting breaches of law and other matters.

Scheme Manager

The Chief Constable

Scheme

The Police Pension Scheme

Knowledge and Understanding and training Policy

Means the training policy as adopted by the Board.

15.2 All references to job titles of officers are to officers within the force unless otherwise stated.

Approved Scheme Manager (Chief Constable Brian Harrington)

Date 
Signature

ANNEX A

Functions of the Board above its core statutory role

The Scheme Manager considers that the Board should assist the Scheme Manager in the following matters above the Board's core statutory role.

  1. Setting the scope and direction of the scheme administration and any new strategic approach.
  2. Developing communications link with the Scheme Advisory Board to receive advice from it and escalate issues to it.
  3. Scrutinising the level and quality of service, challenging and directing service providers to improve scheme performance, focusing on continuous improvement and value for money and identifying opportunities to enhance the range and quality of services offered by the scheme.
  4. Challenging the performance of the service providers; benchmarking the scheme administration; identifying and promoting good practice and addressing any areas of weakness with the service providers.
  5. Establishing the effectiveness, efficiency and value for money of the scheme administration.
  6. Overseeing the procurement of administration services, making recommendations on the scope of the service, budget, including evaluation criteria and signing off preferred provider proposals.
  7. Commissioning additional services from the administrator to meet changing needs of membership and employers.
  8. Ensuring the scheme administrator supports employers to communicate the benefits of the scheme.
  9. Ensuring the administrator supports members with a range of tools to improve their understanding of their pension benefits.
  10. Developing and managing an internal controls risk management framework.
  11. Improve pension data quality.
  12. Overseeing the development of processes and systems to incorporate any new statutory requirements.
  13. Overseeing and providing challenge to the scheme budget forecasting.
  14. Ensuring that there is an effective audit strategy is in place for the scheme and approving and monitoring audit delivery plans.
  15. Monitoring common areas of complaints and disputes and addressing issues arising from cases referred to the internal dispute resolution procedure and/or the Pension Ombudsman.
  16. Any such other matters as the Scheme Manager determines from time to time. 

Annex B

Police Pension Board Appointment and Removal Rules

These rules set out the procedures which have been agreed and adopted by the Board for the appointment and removal of representative (i.e. the employer and member  representatives) and independent Board members.

Part A - Appointment of Representative Board Members

Nomination and Selection Procedure

Representative Board members will be chosen by way of a two stage nomination and selection process as follows:

STAGE 1 - Nomination Process

The employer representative Board members are nominated by the Scheme Manager.

The member representative Board members are nominated by the Federation Joint Branch Board and Superintendents' Association.

Individuals are only eligible to be nominated as a Board member if they meet the Eligibility Criteria. The Eligibility Criteria is as follows:

The employer representative must be employed by the Police Pension Authority.

The member representative must be a member within the federated ranks employed by the Police Pension Authority.

STAGE 2 - Selection Process

The Board members are then approved by the Scheme Manager.

Part B — Term of Office and Removal of Representative Employer and Member Representative Board Members

Employer and member representatives are appointed for a period of four years from the date of establishment of the Board or the date of their appointment, if later.

This period may be extended to up to two years if jointly agreed by the Scheme Manager and Chair.

Any Board member may be re-appointed for further terms following an appointment process.

An appointment will automatically cease if:

  • A Board member no longer meets the Eligibility Criteria.
  • A Board member has a conflict of interest which, in the opinion of the Scheme Manager, cannot be managed in accordance with the Board's Conflicts of Interest Policy.
  • A Board member dies or, in the opinion of the Board, becomes incapable of acting.
  • Board member wishes to resign and has given one month's notice in writing to the Chair

Further, if a Board member fails to attend meetings or otherwise comply with the requirements of being a Board member, for example, fails to attend the necessary knowledge and understanding training, then the Chair of the Board and the Scheme Manager can decide whether the number should be given an opportunity to change their behaviour. Where issues of this nature arise, the Chair will lead responsibility for an initial informal discussion with the Board member about the concerns.

Where a vacancy arises for a representative member mid-term, the Chair and Scheme Manager will consider and agree on the process to be used to fill that vacancy.

Part C - Appointment and Removal of Independent Representative

The independent members must be neither an employer nor member representative

Any independent representative's term of office will be determined by separate terms agreed by the Chair, with the Scheme Manager's approval, but will not be longer than a period of two years and will be subject to on-going review as defined in those terms.

Part D - Review of the Rules

The Board will keep these rules under review, having due regard to the Regulations, the Code of Practice and guidance (statutory or otherwise). The Board will amend the rules as and when it sees fit.