A summary of the board's purpose and how it will work.

The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales has been established under Regulations 10-13 of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2015.

Purpose

The aims and objectives of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales are to:

  • advise the Responsible Authority (Welsh Ministers), on the desirability of changes to the scheme and any connected scheme
  • advise the Responsible Authority (Welsh Ministers) and Scheme Manager on any other matter it considers relevant to the effective and efficient operation of these schemes
  • advise the local pension boards on effective and efficient administration and management of the scheme, any connected scheme and any pension fund
  • discuss and comment on the potential implications of future valuation outcomes
  • make recommendations on adjustments to the schemes in the event that costs breach the employer cost cap

Membership/chairing arrangements

The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales is to consist of the following members:

  • An independent chair, and at least 2 and no more than 12 persons to be appointed by Welsh Ministers.

Members of the Scheme Advisory Board are nominated by the 3 Fire & Rescue Authorities for Wales, Fire Brigades Union, Fire Leaders Association, Fire Officers’ Association and Fire and Rescue Services Association.

Members

  • Independent Chair

Employer Representatives - individuals as appointed by the Welsh Ministers:

  • North Wales Fire & Rescue Authority
  • Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Authority
  • South Wales Fire & Rescue Authority

Employee Representatives – individuals as appointed by the Welsh Ministers:

  • Fire Brigades Union x 2
  • Fire Leaders Association
  • Fire Officers’ Association
  • Fire and Rescue Services Association.

Others in attendance

The Chair of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales may, with the agreement of the members of the board, appoint advisory persons who are not members of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales to attend meetings of the Board and any sub committees by invitation.
Regular Attendees will also include:

  • The Welsh Government (who also act as secretariat)
  • Fire & Rescue Authority Officers (as advisors to Fire & Rescue Authority Members)

Substitutions

  • Members of the board should make every effort to attend in person. Where this is not possible substitutes may be allowed with the prior agreement of the Chair.
  • Substitutes should be named by the appropriate nominating body.

Members of the board represent either employers or employees, in accordance with the scheme regulations. No member, and no substitute for a member, may represent both an employer and employees at any meeting.

Member representatives must be able to demonstrate their capacity to attend and complete the necessary preparation for meetings and participate in training as required.

Conflict of interest

Members of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board for Wales must immediately notify the Welsh Ministers in writing (via the Board Secretariat) of any possible conflict of interest they may have. However, membership of the scheme (or any related scheme) does not of itself constitute such a conflict.

Process for scheme advisory board advice

As the board has no decision-making authority, it has no quorum. However, all members or their nominated deputies are strongly encouraged to attend. If the Chair believes those present do not fully and fairly represent the range of views that may exist among employers or employees as a whole, s/he may terminate the meeting.

The Chair shall attempt to reach consensus on all issues. Failing this, all advice provided by the Board should reflect any diverging views among its members and should be recorded by the Chair.

Frequency/ structure of meetings

  • The scheme advisory board will meet tri-annually.
  • Length of meetings will be approximately 2 hours (depending on agenda items); Group members are welcome to contact the secretariat between meetings if they wish to propose an issue for inclusion in the agenda.
  • Meetings will normally take place in Welsh Government offices, but there may be occasions when meetings will be required throughout Wales.

Papers and minutes

In line with the Welsh Government’s commitment to openness, we will publish minutes on our website as soon as possible after the meeting to which they relate. Members are welcome to share papers with their local pension boards, although there may be instances where this is not appropriate. Where such instances occur, the Chair will advise members not to do so.

Subgroups

It may be appropriate to establish sub groups to consider specific issues. Subgroups will operate on an 'as required' basis and will be accountable to the scheme advisory board.