The Firefighters Pension Scheme (England) Scheme Advisory Board (the “Board”) is a body set up under Section 7 of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Amendment) (Governance) Regulations 2015

Purpose

The purpose of the Board is to be both reactive and proactive to carry out the following functions:

  • provide advice in response to a request from the Secretary of State on the desirability of making changes to this scheme and any connected scheme
  • provide advice to scheme mangers and local pension boards in relation to the effective and efficient administration and management of this scheme and any connected scheme.

It will seek to encourage best practice, increase transparency, coordinate technical and standards issues, and build positive relationships with stakeholders and industry bodies – such as the Home Office, the Pensions Regulator and the Government Actuary’s Department

Establishment of the Board

Regulation 4F of the above required the Secretary of State to appoint a minimum of two and a maximum of 14 members to the Scheme Advisory Board with equal representation of persons representing the interests of scheme employers and persons representing the interests of members.

In a letter distributed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 21 August 2015 to relevant trade unions, the then Fire Minister confirmed that the appointment process should proceed on the basis that the 7 places allocated to the board for scheme member representatives would be split between the four trade unions on the basis of 4 seats for the Fire Brigades Union and one each for the Retained Firefighters’ Union, the Fire Officers’ Association and the Association of Principal Fire Officers.

In order to achieve equal representation, the Secretary of State appointed 7 employer representatives, and the Local Government Association (LGA) was asked to nominate 7 names as employer representatives.

The first full meeting of the Board took place on 20 April 2016 and the following terms of reference were established.

Budget

The Board is required to submit an annual budget to the Secretary of State each year for approval. Once approved the budget for the Board is funded via a statutory levy on Fire and Rescue Authorities, based on a cost per active member of the schemes.