As a result of the Hutton review into public pension schemes, the Government has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure that pension schemes are administered efficiently and effectively.
Since 1 April 2015, the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme has a National Scheme Advisory Board, and Local Pension Boards have also been established.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority has a Local Firefighters’ Pension Board, which is made up of eight employer and employee representatives:
- Cyril Moseley (employee/retiree representative, and acting Chair to the Board)
- Pip Rideout – (employer representative and FRA member)
- Colin Jamieson (employer representative and FRA member)
- Richard Biggs (employer representative and FRA member)
- Peter Hutton (employer representative and FRA member)
- Andrew Corben (employee/retiree representative)
- Scott Blandford (employee/retiree representative)
- Mike Gannaway (employee/retiree representative)
- Jane Staffiere (to provide professional officer advice)
When Pension Board members sign up to the role, they commit to have the time, interest and understanding of the pension schemes in order to represent the scheme members, but training is also provided.
All appointed individuals are required to provide the Authority with any information which it reasonably requires to see whether there is any conflict of interest that would prevent the person being a member of the Board.
The role of the Pension Board
The role of the Board is to ensure that the firefighters’ pensions schemes are properly managed.
It provides scrutiny of decisions made by the Service in order to provide more assurance to taxpayers and scheme members. It is required to assist the Fire and Rescue Authority in reviewing how the Firefighters’ Pension and Compensation Schemes work locally, and allows the Board to look at the systems underpinning the local administration of the scheme, and how decisions are made.
- Managing risks and ensuring there are adequate internal controls;
- Keeping records and ensuring the quality of member data;
- Ensuring the correct contributions are paid to the scheme;
- Managing conflicts of interest;
- Publishing information about the Board;
- Communicating information to members; and
- Resolving disputes and reporting certain breaches of the law.
Minutes of the Local Pension Board
- Number of active members – 942 (577 Dorset, 365 Wiltshire)
- Number of deferred members – 404 (185 Dorset, 219 Wiltshire)
- Number of retired members – 780 (511 Dorset, 269 Wiltshire)
- Providing a total of 2,126 members as at November 2016.
Further general information on the role of Pension Boards is available on the Pension Regulators website: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/quick-guide-public-service-pension-boards.pdf