The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund administers the Local Government Pension Scheme in Berkshire on behalf of around 80,000 members managing around £3 billion assets. Whilst the Unitary Councils are the main employers there are over 300 scheme employers, all with some connection with local government.
What is a local Pension Board?
The Pension Board was created in 2015 to meet requirements in the Public Service Pension Act 2013. That act included several provisions relating to better governance and improved accountability of all the various public sector pension schemes.
The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a public service pension scheme and so a local Pension Board has been set up to assist the administering authority, The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, (also known as the Scheme Manager) in securing compliance with the LGPS regulations, other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the LGPS and the requirements imposed by the Pension Regulator in relation to the LGPS; all to ensure the effective and efficient governance and administration of the Scheme.
If you have any questions or comments that you would like to raise with the Board you can do so by sending an email to our dedicated Pension Board account at email@example.com
What does the local Pension Board do?
The Board's role is to assist the Scheme Manager (the Royal Borough) in ensuring the efficient and effective governance and administration of the LGPS. This means making sure all the pensions operation complies with all relevant legislation with the aim to safeguard the interest of all Pension Fund members and associated employer organisations.
The Pension Board sits alongside the Berkshire Pension Fund Committee and Pension Fund Advisory Panel in an oversight role, to assist by reviewing the governance arrangements of the Fund and ensuring policies and procedures are correctly implemented and followed.
The Board must include an equal number of scheme member and scheme employer representatives and in Berkshire the Board currently has 3 scheme member and 3 scheme employer representatives. It also has provision for substitute board members.
Two of the Scheme Employers representatives are normally proposed by Chief Finance & HR officers of the Unitary authorities and the third employer currently comes from the education sector, the largest employer group beyond Councils. Member representatives were invited to apply for membership of and appointed to the Board through the normal communication channels.
Scheme Member Representatives
- Mr Alan Cross, Deferred Pensioner Member, Reading Borough Council (Chair of the Board)
- Mr Jeff Ford, Retired member
- 1 Vacancy (see vacancy details below)
Scheme Employer Representatives
- Mrs Nikki Craig, Head of HR and Corporate Projects, RBWM
- Arthur Parker, Chief Accountant, Bracknell Forest Council
- Julian Curzon, Haybrook College
The Pension Board meets four times a year, normally in the morning before each Pension Fund Committee, and considers the same papers. The public parts of meetings are streamed on You Tube via the Modern Gov website. The chair of the board attends the meeting of the Berkshire Pension Fund Committee and Berkshire Pension Fund Advisory Panel to provide input from the board before final decisions are made by Councillors.
Each year the Board produces a statement of activity The current Pension Board statement is now available to view.
Pension Board members have certain legal responsibilities and must be generally aware of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) rules and the document policies about the governance and administration of the Scheme, all of which are regularly reviewed. Board members are also required to have the necessary knowledge and understanding of the law relating to pensions and such other matters as deemed relevant to the role, and therefore are required to undertake training to fulfil the role. A link to all Board agendas, papers and minutes can be found in the Meetings section of this website. The process is very transparent and comments and questions from scheme members are always welcome.
If you have any questions or comments that you would like to raise with the Board, you can do so by sending an email to our dedicated Pension Board account at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pension Board Vacancy
As indicated above we currently have a scheme member representative vacancy.
We want to fill this during the Autumn of 2023, and initially plan to appoint up to two substitute scheme members who will attend the Board meetings. In due course one of them will be appointed to fill the vacancy and the other will continue to attend as a substitute and may be appointed to fill the next vacancy that arises.
Ideally we would like to fill the vacancy with an active member of the scheme (i.e. someone currently working and paying regular contributions) as the other member representatives are or will shortly be retired members. Individuals with some understanding of finance or HR (or wanting to develop their understanding in these areas) may benefit from being involved, but the role may also appeal to those who want to or have experience of representing colleagues in the workplace (through trade union activities or otherwise) or, bearing in mind the ESG (environment, social and governance) agenda is a significant area of work at present those with an understanding of how this might impact the funds considerations about its investment policies.
Initially, those interested should have an informal discussion with Philip Boyton, Deputy Head of Pension Fund, 07792 324459 and those wishing to be considered should submit a letter of application by 30 November 2023 outlining their experience and why they wish to be considered. We anticipate that such letters should be 2-4 (A4) pages in length. Please e-mail this to email@example.com