Role details

Chair of the Civil Service Pensions Board (CSPB)

Application deadline 10 August 2022

Summary

Organisation
Civil Service Pensions Board
Sponsor department
Cabinet Office
Location
London
Sector
Business, Finance & Skills
Skills
Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial, Communication, Procurement, Regulation
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
20 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£20000 per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
7pm on 10 August 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    29 June 2022

  2. Application deadline

    7pm on 10 August 2022

  3. Sifting date

    26 August 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    30 September 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • Experience in operating at Board level or equivalent in the public or private sector (or both) preferably in a non-executive pension/reward scheme capacity;

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – capability to manage stakeholder relationships in a collaborative way;

  • Ability to ensure that the board successfully delivers against its objectives particularly where differing or conflicting views arise;

  • Ability to analyse complex information, understand options presented and to assist others to understand issues and differing views. To also provide constructive feedback and seek clarity as required.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of the pension administration industry and the challenges facing unfunded pension schemes would be an advantage. 

  • The capacity to bring a fresh, external view and independence of judgement with the ability to lead and negotiate and an understanding of how government works

Role description

Introduction

This is both a challenging and exciting time to join the Civil Service Pension Board. We are looking to appoint an individual with commitment and expertise to the Board, which is challenging and leading the organisation to become the best managed, best administered and best value public sector pension schemes in the UK.

Whilst the Board’s Chair has overall responsibility for the performance of the Board, all members of the Board have an important individual and collective role in working with the Chair, the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team to evolve the strategic direction of the body, to ensure delivery goals, and to ensure that it fulfils the governance, financial management, and efficiency standards required of it as a public body.

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in this vacancy for a Member of the Civil Service Pension Board (CSPB).

You may already have some idea about the important work of CSPB and the following pages will tell you more about CSPB purpose and the nature of the Board and this General Member role, as well as the application process. Please do also view the Civil Service Pension Board website to understand their work and the strategic framework review they are currently undertaking: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/about-us/civil-service-pensions-board/ 

If, after reading the material, you have further questions about any aspect of this post you are welcome to speak to Jason Dear or Karen McGhee (cspbapplications@cabinetoffice.gov.uk). 

If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Minister for the Civil Service Pension Board

Role description

Further information on the work on the Civil Service Pension Board including its strategic framework can be found on the following website: https://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/about-us/civil-service-pensions-board/

Whilst the Board’s Chair has overall responsibility for the performance of the Board, all members of the Board have an important individual and collective role in working with the Chair, the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team to evolve the strategic direction of the body, to ensure delivery goals, and to ensure that it fulfils the governance, financial management, and efficiency standards required of it as a public body.

Organisation description

The main purpose of this Statutory Board is to gain assurance that the Civil Service Pension Scheme governance structures are in place and operating effectively within statutory guidelines.  The Board aims to provide assurance that scheme members are being efficiently and effectively served by the appointed third party administrators and the board seeks to support and challenge the Scheme Managers (The Civil Service pensions team in the Cabinet Office).

Board composition

The Board currently comprises 5 Non-Executive Members and 10 members consisting of member nominees, employer nominees and officials. Members of the Board are listed below and biographical information for each Board Member can be found on Civil Service Pension Board website 

  • Margaret Edwards OBE (Current Chair);
  • Anthony Clare
  • Shrinivas Honap
  • Lesley Davie
  • Sir Adrian Johns
  • Lorna Merry
  • David Howdon
  • Karen Watts
  • Jayne Beeslee
  • Rob Woodstock
  • Jonathan Russell
  • Dominic Arthur
  • Nathan Paget
  • Rich Hornby
  • Nicola Bettesworth

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation to cspbapplications@cabinetoffice.gov.uk:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (maximum two sides of A4) with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history.
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4), setting out how you meet the eligibility criteria (please see the Person Specification and eligibility criteria) – please ensure your full name is clearly noted at the top of your letter.
  • Recruitment Monitoring form (Google) you do not need to have a Google account to complete the form (here) – If you experience problems accessing the monitoring form please contact the Sponsor Team.
  • Disability Confident – Offering an interview to disabled people declaration (if applicable)
  • Contact details including email addresses for two referees;

Overview of the application process

This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. The public appointments process can be lengthy. However, we aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.
 
The assessment process for a public appointment
  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.
  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.
  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.
  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by email) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview in London.
  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The names of all appointable candidates are provided to Ministers. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.
  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.
  7. This appointment is made by the Prime Minister who, following the appointments process, will take the final decision on who to appoint.
  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.
  9. If your application is unsuccessful and you would like feedback, please let the Sponsor Team know. We regret that we are only able to offer feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at interview stage.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

Ineligibility criteria

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • You become bankrupt or make an arrangement with creditors;
  • Your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • You are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • You have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • You become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • You fail to declare any conflict of interest.

Conflicts of interest and due diligence  

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as Members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs, public registers (e.g. Individual Insolvency Register, Removed Trustee Register, Financial Services Prohibited Individual Register and Disqualified Directors Register) or any other publicly available information.

The Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the standards set out in the Seven Principles of Public Life and have no outside interests which present a conflict of interest or otherwise call into question their ability to perform the role. Any actual, reasonably perceived or potential conflicts of interest identified during the appointment process and potential mitigations will be explored with the candidate at interview. This information will also be included in the final advice to Ministers at the end of the appointment process.

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of Civil Service Pension Board and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Sponsor Team. A potential conflict will not preclude you from being shortlisted or appointed. However, arrangements may need to be put in place to manage the real or perceived conflict.

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.
Candidates who apply under the Disability Confident scheme will be assessed against the minimum criteria for the role, as set out below.
Minimum criteria
  • Experience in operating at Board level or equivalent
  • To effectively champion diversity and difference
  • Ability to analyse information, understand options presented and to assist others to understand issues and differing views. To also provide constructive feedback and seek clarity as required.

Reasonable adjustments

Government departments are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

  • The time commitment as Chair is 20 days per year; the annual remuneration is £20,000 per annum.
  • Remuneration is taxable under Schedule E of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (as amended) and subject to Class I National Insurance contributions.
  • Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable.
  • The post is not pensionable.

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that due to the volume of applications received, we are only able to offer feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
If you are not completely satisfied with the recruitment process, please contact the Sponsor Team (cspbapplications@cabinetoffice.gov.uk) in the first instance. They will investigate your complaint and issue you with a response within 10 working days which addresses your concerns and recommends remedial action if required.
If you are not content with this response your complaint can be escalated to the Senior Sponsor. They will review your complaint in relation to the recruitment process and issue you with a response within 20 working days.
If you are still not satisfied, you can ask the Commissioner for Public Appointments to investigate your complaint. The contact details for the Commissioner can be found below:
The Commissioner for Public Appointments
Room G/8, Ground Floor
1 Horse Guards Road
London
SW1A 2HQ
Email: publicappointments@csc.gov.uk
Tel: 0207 271 0849

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response, you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at publicappointments@csc.gov.uk,Further information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website https://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/regulating-appointments/investigating-complaints/

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

If, after reading the material, you have further questions about any aspect of this post you are welcome to speak to Jason Dear or Karen McGhee (cspbapplications@cabinetoffice.gov.uk).