Nominations for Pensions Committee and Board

Nominations and appointment policy

External Members of the Pensions Committee and Members of the Pension Board

Introduction

Pensions Committee: The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC or Scheme Manager) operates a Pensions Committee (the Pensions Committee) for the purposes of facilitating the administration of Lothian Pension Fund,  the Scottish Homes Pension Fund and any other Local Government Pension Scheme that it may administer from time to time (the Funds). The Terms of Reference of the Pensions Committee require that, in addition to the elected members, two additional members should be appointed to the Pensions Committee as follows:
 
A. a member drawn from the membership of the Funds (Member Representative); and
B. a member drawn from the scheduled or admitted bodies that participate in the Funds (Employer Representative).
 
This policy sets out the means through which CEC will operate and support the nomination and appointment of the Member and Employer Representatives to the Pensions Committee.
 
Pension Board: CEC is also required to establish and maintain a Pension Board (the Pension Board), for the purposes of assisting with the ongoing compliance of the Funds. The Pension Board is constituted under the provisions of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Governance) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (the 2015 Regulations) and the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and will at all times consist of equal numbers of trade union representatives (drawn from trade unions that represent the membership of the Funds) (Employee Members) and scheme employer representatives (drawn from local authorities and scheduled or admitted bodies that participate in the Funds) (Employer Members). Further to the Constitution for the Pension Board (dated 25 March 2015) (the Constitution) the Pension Board will comprise:
 
A. Five Employer Members; and
B. Five Employee Members.
 
The Constitution provides for the operation of the Pension Board and this policy sets out the Scheme Manager’s procedures for inviting nominations for the membership of the Pension Board and putting forward eligible candidates for appointment by the Pension Board.

1. Pensions Committee: Appointment Process

1.1 Where required to fill a vacancy, employer bodies that participate in the Funds will be invited (via an advert and targeted communications) to nominate a suitably qualified representative to be considered for selection as the Employer Representative on the Pensions Committee.
Where required to fill a vacancy, suitably qualified members of the Fund will be invited to nominate themselves (via an advert and targeted communications) to be considered for selection as the Member Representative on the Pensions Committee.
 
1.2 No person may be appointed to the Pensions Committee under this policy where, in the Scheme Manager’s sole discretion, that person has a Conflict of Interest. A ‘Conflict of Interest’ being a financial or other interest which is likely to prejudice the exercise of that persons’ functions as a member, but does not include a financial or other interest arising merely by virtue of that person being a member or employer body in any of the Funds.
 
1.3 Once either the employer bodies and/or members of Lothian Pension Fund have been given no less than 30 days to respond, a two-stage appointment process will commence. 
 
1.4 The first stage of the process will be conducted by Lothian Pension Fund (LPF).  LPF will  assess suitability of the candidates and their respective submissions with a view to excluding any candidates that, at their discretion, would have a Conflict of Interest or not meet the requisite standards determined by LPF and/or as set out in the guidance or code of practice issued by the Pensions Regulator in relation to the knowledge, understanding and expertise for a member of such a body from time to time.
 
1.5 The second stage will be an interview process conducted by ‘the Review Panel’. Candidates being elected or deselected for the second stage will be detailed in a report to the Review Panel to ensure appropriate oversight and assurance. 
 
1.6 The Review Panel will consist of:
  • The Independent Professional Observer or such other suitable independent person or advisor (the Independent Professional Observer),
  • The Convener of the Pensions Committee
  • The Chair of the Pension Board
  • The Chief Executive Officer, LPF (or a deputy appointed by them).
     

2. Pensions Committee: Appointment and Ratification

2.1 Once a preferred candidate for the Member and/or Employer Representative has been selected by the Review Panel and has confirmed their willingness to take up the role, approval of the appointment will be sought from the Council pursuant to the Committee Terms of Reference and Delegated Functions.
 
2.2 Any newly appointed Member and Employer Representatives will require to have read, understood and signed LPF’s Code of Conduct prior to taking up their role.
 
2.3 Any newly appointed Member and Employer Representatives will require to have completed the necessary induction training from LPF prior to taking up their role.
 
2.4 The Employer and Member Representatives will serve a maximum term of three consecutive years and whereupon they will either stand down or require to submit themselves as a candidate for a further selection process.
 
2.5 The Employer and Member Representatives will be required to make all reasonable efforts to regularly attend the meetings of the Pensions Committee and are required to comply with LPF’s Training and Attendance Policy.  Failure to do so will result in their position(s) on the Pensions Committee being reviewed. 
 
2.6 Any member of the Pension Board will not be eligible for appointment as either the Employer or Member Representative on the Pensions Committee unless the Pension Board member resigns from their seat before accepting the Pension Committee appointment. 
 

3. Pension Board: Nomination and Appointment Process

3.1 Where required to fill a vacancy or vacancies, employer bodies that participate in the Funds will be invited to nominate suitable representative(s) to be considered for selection as an Employer Member on the Pension Board.
 
3.2 The Scheme Manager will, in consultation with the Pension Board, review and allocate the Employee Member(s) among the trade unions in order to ensure that they are broadly representative of the proportion of members represented by each trade union and reflect the membership of the fund itself; 
 
3.3 Where required to fill a vacancy or vacancies, those trade unions will be requested to invite nominations, elect and put forward suitably qualified individuals for appointment as Employee Member(s) to the Pension Board.
 
3.4 All candidates put forward for the roles of an Employer Member and/or Employee Member will be requested to apply for the role, providing a brief biography, highlighting their background, any relevant experience and why they would be suitable for the role. 

 Employer Members

3.5 Once the employer bodies have been given no less than 30 days to respond, LPF will draw up a list of relevant candidates for the role(s). LPF will review  the candidates and their respective submissions with a view to excluding any candidates that, at their discretion, would not meet the criteria set out in the 2015 Regulations or any of its standards with regard to the guidance or code of practice issued by the Pensions Regulator from time to time.
 
3.6 If there is only one applicant, the Review Panel will then review the application and meet with them before an approval is made. 
 
3.7 The Review Panel will allocate the Employer Member(s) among the employers in order to ensure they are broadly representative of the different types of employer body in the Fund (e.g. local authorities, education establishments, charities, contractors and national or other public bodies etc.).
 
3.8 Where there are more candidates than vacancies, a second stage process consisting of an interview by the Review Panel will commence. Candidates being elected or deselected for the second stage will be detailed in a report to the Review Panel to ensure appropriate oversight and assurance. 

Employee Members

3.9 Once the trade unions representing members of the Funds have put forward their candidates, LPF will draw up a list of relevant candidates for the role(s).  LPF will review  the candidates and their respective submissions with a view to excluding any candidates that, at their discretion, would not meet the criteria set out in the 2015 Regulations or any of its standards with regard to the guidance or code of practice issued by the Pensions Regulator from time to time.
 
3.10 If there is only one applicant, the Review Panel will then review the application and meet with them before an approval is made. 
 
3.11 In the event of there being more candidates than vacancies, a second stage process consisting of an interview process by the Review Panel will commence. Candidates being elected or deselected for the second stage will be detailed in a report to the Review Panel to ensure appropriate rigor and challenge. 
 
3.12 LPF will then proceed to arrange for the appointment of the appropriate candidates as Employee Member(s) of the Pension Board and liaise with the trade union bodies collectively in relation to any candidate that did not meet the criteria set out in the 2015 Regulations and/or the requisite standards (with a request for a further candidate to be put forward in accordance with the procedures set out herein).
 

4 Pension Board: Appointment

4.1 Candidates selected to be either Employer Member(s) and/or Employee Member(s) will then be appointed to those roles by the Scheme Manager or (following the establishment of the Pension
Board) by the Pension Board itself on receiving notice of the selected individuals from the Scheme Manager.
 
4.2 Employer Members and Employee Members will otherwise carry out their role and be appointed and removed in accordance with the Constitution.
 
4.3 Any individuals appointed as member of the Pension Board will require to have read, understood and signed Lothian Pension Funds’ Code of Conduct prior to taking up their role.
 
4.4 Members of the Pension Board will be required to have completed the necessary induction training from the Scheme Manager prior to taking up their role.
 
4.5 Any member of the Pensions Committee will not be eligible for appointment as a member of the Pension Board for so long as they remain a member of the committee.
 
Version v1.2 11/3/2021