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Role details

Chair of the Armed Forces Pension Board

Application deadline 27 October 2023

Summary

Organisation
Armed Forces Pension Board
Sponsor department
Ministry of Defence
Location
London
Sectors
Defence
Skills
Audit and Risk, Business, Change Management, Commercial, Communication, Media, Marketing, Technology / Digital, Legal, Judicial, Major Projects, Regulation, Transformation
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
40 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£600 per day
Length of term
3 Years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 27 October 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    11 September 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 27 October 2023

  3. Sifting date

    17 November 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    13 December 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction

All pension schemes are required by law to have a Scheme Advisory Board and a Pension Board. The Armed Forces Pension Board is managed to ensure its members have a broad balance of skills and experience to enable it to undertake its key role of assisting the Scheme Manager (Secretary of State for Defence) in ensuring compliance with the scheme regulations and other legislation relating to the governance and administration of the scheme and any statutory pension scheme that is connected with it.

Role description

The Chair of the Armed Forces Pension Board will be responsible for developing public service pension scheme governance and will deal with a wide range of stakeholders including MOD employers, in particular with MOD Pensions Policy and members, Ministers, the Scheme Administrator (Defence Business Service (DBS)) and The Pensions Regulator (tPR). The Chair will be expected to contribute in a way that will benefit scheme members, employers and the taxpayer. 
The Chair will provide effective leadership of the Pension Board and develop Armed Forces Pension Governance on behalf of the Scheme Manager.  The Chair must ensure that the Pension Board is run in accordance with the Terms of References (ToRs) and will be committed to equality, efficiency and innovation.   
The Chair will work closely with the MOD Pension team who will provide administrative support and will take steps to ensure that; 
A standing Agenda is in place; 
Reports are accurate and timely;  
All members contribute to deliberations;  
A record is held of all decisions and significant discussions; 
The Chair has responsibility for ensuring that the Pension Board operates as an effective and efficient mechanism to facilitate compliance with the Armed Forces Pension Schemes regulations, the Pensions Regulator’s Code of Practice and other relevant legislation.  In order to do this the Chair must have an understanding of current Pensions policy and public accountability.  
The Chair must promote consensus between the bodies and individuals represented on the Board by working to create mutual understanding and by facilitating action to resolve differences in the event of disagreement.  
The Chair must ensure that Board members collectively and individually understand their roles and responsibilities and will have a role in ensuring that they maintain their knowledge and understanding. 
The Chair must agree requirements and expectations with individual Board members within the ambit of the ToRs; ensuring support is provided in the form of induction, developing and mentoring where necessary; and reviewing the performance of Board members. 
The Chair should be cognisant of the cycle of Pension Valuations and the need to focus the Pension Board on this work in a timely manner. The Chair will report annually on the activities of the Pension Board to the Scheme Manager (Secretary of State for Defence), and may carry out other functions related to the AFPS at the direction of the Scheme Manager.  

Person specification

Essential criteria

For this role, we are looking for an individual with experience of working in a Public Service Pensions environment at Board level. 
 A successful candidate for this role will also need to be able to apply intellectual rigour to the remuneration of Service Personnel, cognisant of public sector pension policy and demonstrate the following criteria:
The ability to analyse and evaluate large amounts of detailed written and oral information.
Strong influencing and communication skills.
Sharp and clear thinking, with the ability to pursue active debate and logical argument.
The ability to command the confidence of key stakeholders including Ministers, Review Body colleagues, Senior Government officials and those within the remit group.
Understanding of the broader context of changes in public sector management as well as public sector pension policy.
High standards of corporate and personal conduct.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.
1. https://apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk/create-account
2. https://apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk/auth/sign-in
Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:
a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
a Supporting Statement
- This should include details of 2 references; full names and email addresses. By providing your referees details, you are giving us consent to approach them should you be successful at the shortlisting stage.
We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.
You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.
The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

Overview of the application process

The assessment process
  1. The Approving Authority 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 Approving Authority 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. The Approving Authority will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.
  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Approving Authority, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.
  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 the Approving Authority. It is then for the Approving Authority to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, the Approving Authority may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.
  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to the Approving Authority 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.  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 and Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel Chair
Helen Helliwell, Director Armed Forces People Policy

Representative of the Organisation
Brigadier Phil Bassingham-Searle, Head Remuneration

Independent Panel Member
Moi Ali, Independent Panel Member

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by the Approving Authority 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 the Approving Authority, 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 the Approving Authority which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the Approving Authority to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

To be Eligible for consideration the candidate(s) will need to be a UK National/reserved UK National'

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • 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.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact Anna Infante, Anna.Infante100@mod.gov.uk

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. This will be specified in the vacancy details. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/united- kingdom-security-vetting-clearance-levels/national-security-vetting- clearance-levels
The level of clearance required for this role is SC (Security Check).

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

The Ministry of Defence value and welcome diversity. The appointment will be governed by the Principle of Public Appointment based on merit with independent assessment and transparency of process. Successful candidate will need to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for this appointment.
We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and experience across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies/Advisory Committees 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.

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 essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, 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.

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 additional 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. These are:

  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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 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

As this is an office holder 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 the Approving Authority. 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

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid. 

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 the end of your term of appointment 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 we are only able to offer detailed 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 feel that you have a complaint about the way in which your application has been handled, please contact in first instance Defence Business Service (DBS) Civilian Personnel Public Appointments Team DBSCivPers- ResPublicAppts@mod.gov.uk. If you are not completely satisfied with the response, please contact the MOD Public Appointments Team at DSOP-PublicAppointments@mod.gov.uk.
We will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and aim to provide a response within 15 working days.

Data protection

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

Contact details

For additional information on this role please contact Anna Infante, Anna.Infante100@mod.gov.uk

Attachments