1.1 Reading Borough Council’s pay policy aims to ensure value for money whilst enabling the Council to deliver high quality services to the residents of Reading. The Council seeks to set pay rates that are adequate to secure and retain high quality employees dedicated to the service of the public but will determine overall pay and benefits at an appropriate level in accordance with equality, affordability and other relevant factors.
1.2 Pay levels will not be unnecessarily generous or otherwise excessive.
1.3 Reading Borough Council agrees that local authorities should be able to determine their own pay structures in order to address local priorities and to compete in the local labour market.
1.4 Reading Borough Council is committed to equality, transparency and fairness across all of its activities and particularly in relation to the pay and conditions of its staff.
1.5 This document has the following Annexes:
Annex A: Requirements and Recommendations to Publish Personal data concerning Staff
Annex B: Governance Arrangements for Pay and Conditions of Service
Annex C: Summary of Conditions of Service
Annex D: Council Employees in Salary Bands as at 1 April 2020
Annex E: Pension Discretions Statement
Annex F Pay scales for staff employed on NJC (Green Book) conditions and Senior Managers (JNC).
1.6 The following related documents related to pay and remuneration can be accessed through the Council’s website
2.1 The authority appoints its staff, and determines the terms and conditions of service on which they hold office, under Section 112 of the Local Government Act 1978. This includes procedures for dismissal. Full Council has delegated this power to the Personnel Committee, with the exception of the Head of Paid Service, Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer for whom separate statutory procedures apply.
2.2 Sections 38 – 43 of the Localism Act 2011 require that the authority produce a policy statement that covers a number of matters concerning the pay of the authority’s staff, principally Chief Officers. This policy statement meets the requirements of the Localism Act in this regard and also meets the requirements of guidance issued in February 2012 and February 2013 by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to which the authority is required to have regard under Section 40 of the Act.
2.3 This policy also has some connection with the data on pay and rewards for staff which the authority publishes under the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency and the data which is published under The Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations (2011). A revised draft Code was published in December 2013. It should be noted that the requirements to publish data under the Secretary of State’s guidance, the Code of Practice and the Regulations do differ, the data requirements of the Code of Practice and the Accounts and Audit Regulations are summarised at Annex A to this policy statement.
2.4 Any decision under powers delegated in the Council’s Constitution / Scheme of Delegation with regard to remuneration to be taken during 2021/22 will be bound by and must comply with this Statement. No decision at variance with this Statement may be taken without the specific agreement of full Council.
2.5 The Head of Paid Service and Assistant Director of Legal & Democratic Services must be consulted prior to any decision impacting on remuneration where there is any question regarding compliance with the Statement.
3.1 This pay policy statement meets the statutory duty to provide the Council with a description of the policy on staff remuneration for annual approval. It provides information on remuneration arrangements for staff directly employed by the Council, excluding staff in schools.
3.2 This statement sets out the Council’s policy with regard to:
3.3 In this policy the ‘senior pay group’ (senior managers) covers posts in the top three tiers of the organisation. These include the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service), Executive Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors. Posts in this group in Reading are as follows:
(a) the Head of the Authority’s Paid Service [Chief Executive]
(b) the Deputy Chief Executive (Deputy Head of Paid Service)
(c) the Executive Director of Children, Education and Early Help Services
(d) the Executive Director of Social Care & Health
(e) the Executive Director of Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services
(f) the Executive Director of Resources
(g) the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer)
(h) the Monitoring Officer (Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services)
(i) persons who, as respects all or most of their duties, report directly to or are directly accountable to the Head of the Council’s Paid Service
(j) persons who, as respects all or most of their duties, report directly to or are accountable to the posts listed in (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h) above (other than staff whose duties are of a clerical or support nature)
3.4 The senior management structure of the organisation can be found in Part 7 of the Council Constitution on the Council’s website.
3.5 The Council defines its lowest paid employees as those staff paid on the first spinal column point of the Council’s pay grades for National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services staff [RG Grades]. This definition is adopted as it refers to the lowest level of pay for staff on non-casual or apprentice contracts of employment.
3.6 The relationship between the remuneration of the lowest paid employees and that of the Council’s senior officers is as described in this statement and by reference to the published data referred to.
3.7 “Remuneration” for the purposes of this statement includes these elements:
4.1 Council has delegated to the Personnel Committee the power to appoint and determine the terms and conditions of employment for all staff, including the application of any discretions under the pension schemes. The terms of reference of the Personnel Committee are set out in Article 8 of Part 2 of the Council’s constitution.
4.2 Council, and the Personnel Committee, have extensive and long-standing arrangements to delegate the exercise of this power to Executive Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors, in respect of the staff employed in their service areas.
4.3 The delegation is subject to the Council’s Officer Employment Rules, which are set out in Part 4 of the Council’s constitution.
4.4 A summary of the arrangements for determining terms and conditions of service for staff, including the Officer Employment Rules, can be found in Annex B.
4.5 The Council, and the Personnel Committee, have adopted a range of policies which apply to the recruitment and employment of the staff of the authority. Policies which are specifically relevant to this Statement include:
4.6 The Scheme of Delegation provides for Executive Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors to manage, review and apply the Council’s Human Resources policies, and to determine the appropriate pay and conditions for the appointment of staff within these policies.
5.1 Reading Borough Council applies terms and conditions of employment that have been negotiated and agreed through appropriate collective bargaining mechanisms (national or local) or as a consequence of authority decisions, these are then incorporated into contracts of employment.
5.2 The Council is a member of the local government employers association for national collective bargaining in respect of chief executives, chief officers and other employees. There are separate negotiations and agreements in respect of each of these groups. Changes from national negotiations generally take effect from 1 April each year and are retrospective to 1 April where agreements are made later than 1 April. It is the authority’s long-standing policy to implement national agreements. The head of paid service and chief officers are under the JNC conditions of service, with locally determined pay. All other employees are under the relevant national agreement on pay and conditions of service applying to the particular service area, with local variations to pay. Pay for staff on all conditions (as set out in Annex C) was last increased nationally (‘cost of living’ increase) in April 2020. The Council will apply any settlement reached nationally in respect of staff covered by national bargaining machinery where this is the locally agreed mechanism for determining cost of living increases.
5.3 A summary of the arrangements for determining terms and conditions of service for staff is set out in Annex C.
6.1 Head of Paid Service: The Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive) is paid on a locally determined salary which is reviewed and approved by Personnel Committee when the post becomes vacant. Independent external consultancy advice on appropriate remuneration levels (taking account of role and responsibilities, recruitment and retention factors and local and regional salary benchmarks) is presented to Personnel Committee to inform their decision-making in this matter.
6.2 The locally determined salary will be within the parameters of the Pay Policy Statement, and will be set out in the Minutes of the Personnel Committee meeting which approves the salary, which will be published on the Council’s website. The salary range will also be published in the job advertisement to fill the vacant post.
6.3 At the conclusion of the recruitment process, the decision to appoint a person to fill the post of Head of Paid Service will be taken by full Council, which will be advised of the local salary, and the point at which the appointment was recommended to be made.
64 No other payments or benefits are payable to the Head of Paid Service (e.g. bonus, performance related pay, health insurance, car lease) other than those referred to elsewhere in this policy statement as being applicable to all employees.
6.5 Unless otherwise determined on appointment, the salary for the Head of Paid Service is subject to annual review by the Personnel Committee (on the anniversary of the date of appointment), in accordance with the following principles:
6.6 Deputy Chief Executive, Executive Directors, Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors: These senior staff are paid on locally determined incremental Reading Senior Management / Corporate Director (RSM / CD) salary scales. These scales were established and approved by Personnel Committee following an independent review of senior salaries carried out by the Hay Group in 2001/2, using relevant regional public sector salary benchmarks. These scales are uplifted by the pay award nationally agreed (if any) for the JNC for Chief Officers. Exceptionally, the JNC pay award is not implemented for the senior pay group in times of severe budget challenge.
6.7 6.7. The Deputy Chief Executive post receives a special responsibility allowance of £14,355 per annum (based on 1st April pay scales) which is 50% of the salary difference between the Chief Executive and Executive Director grade maximums. Cost of living pay awards agreed by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Officers of Local Authorities are to be applied to the allowance. There are no other additional elements of remuneration in respect of overtime, flexi-time, bank holiday working, stand-by payments, etc., paid to senior staff, as they are expected to undertake duties outside their contractual hours and working patterns without additional payment.
6.8 No other payments or benefits are payable to Corporate Directors and Heads of Service (e.g. bonus, performance related pay, health insurance, car lease) other than those referred to elsewhere in this policy statement as being applicable to all employees.
7.1 This policy statement reconfirms the Council’s long-standing Low Pay Policy. The grading structure allows for all staff, except apprentices, to be paid an hourly rate no lower than the Living Wage (£9.50 per hour from 9 November 2020)
7.2. The Council previously paid a Living Wage supplement to increase the hourly rate of employees to the Living Wage, where necessary (with the exception of apprentices as detailed in 7.3 below). Since 1st April 2019 the lowest point on the salary scales has been above the Living Wage rate and is therefore reflected in all staff’s substantive rate. Currently, the lowest hourly rate is £9.62 (based on salary scales agreed on 1 April 2020).
7.3. Apprentices are paid the nationally recommended allowance rate of £4.15 per hour for the first 12 months of employment and thereafter are paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as applicable to the employee’s age. These rates are updated as the national allowances are revised.
7.4. Reading Borough Council is also committed to the development and publication of a local policy to promote and require, to the extent permitted by law, the application of the Council’s low pay policy to staff working for the Council’s contractors in addition to the application of TUPE. The Council became an accredited Living Wage Employer in 2015.
8.1 The highest paid salary in this authority is up to £166,765 which is the top of the annual salary range paid to the Head of Paid Service. The current ratio between the lowest paid employee (scp 3 (new national pay spine) £18,562 per annum as at 1 April 2020) and the highest paid employee is 1:8.98. This ratio is with effect from 1 April 2020. The Council will work to maintain a ratio of no more than 1:10 between the lowest paid and the highest paid.
8.2 This authority does not have a policy on maintaining or reaching a specific highest / median ‘pay multiple’, however the authority is conscious of the need to ensure that the salary of the highest paid employee is not excessive and is consistent with the needs of the authority as expressed in this policy statement. The authority’s approach to the payment of other staff is to pay that which the authority needs to pay to recruit and retain staff with the skills, knowledge, experience, abilities and qualities needed for the post in question at the relevant time, and to ensure that the authority meets any contractual requirements for staff including the application of any local or national collective agreements, or authority decisions regarding pay. The median salary paid by the Council is £27,741. Pay multiple therefore between the highest and median salary is 1:6.01.
8.3 Pay multiples will be monitored each year within the Pay Policy Statement, and will be benchmarked against comparable authorities as others’ pay policy statements are published.
8.4 In terms of overall remuneration packages the Council’s policy is to differentiate by setting different levels of basic pay to reflect differences in responsibilities (job evaluation) but not to differentiate on other allowances, benefits and payments it makes.
9.1 The Council uses established formal job evaluation procedures to identify the relative worth of jobs within the council (including the senior pay group), and to allocate jobs to the appropriate pay grade.
9.2 For the senior pay group (RSM / CD Grades) RBC uses the Hay job evaluation scheme, for other jobs we use the national NJC for Local Government Employees JE scheme.
9.3 The NJC Job Evaluation Scheme, which is recognised by employers and trades unions nationally, allows for robust measurement against set criteria resulting in fair and objective evaluations and satisfies equal pay requirements
9.4 Pay grades are shown at Annex F.
10.1 Annex D shows employees at 1 April 2020 by salary band and then by gender, ethnic origin and disability.
10.2 The numbers of black and minority ethnic employees and disabled employees are shown as a proportion of employees who have made a positive declaration.
10.3 Female employees continue to form the greater percentage across all salary bands except for RG9 and senior manager grades. This is largely because 60.5% of the Council’s workforce are women.
10.4 The percentage of employees from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds is highest in RG2 at 33.33%. The percentage of BAME employees in the workforce is 14.2%
10.5 The overall number of employees who have declared a disability across salary bands ranges between 0.00% in RG10 and 10% in RG1 (apprentices). The percentage of employees who have declared a disability in the workforce is 3.7%.
11.1 Under the Council’s Performance Related Progression Scheme the award of an annual increment is dependent upon an employee’s achievement of performance targets and competency objectives. The scheme also links incremental progression with whether performance is improving or declining. No increment can be awarded if an employee is subject to formal disciplinary or capability (poor performance) procedures.
11.2 The following principles apply to pay progression for all RBC staff with effect from 1st April 2012:
11.3 Accelerated incremental progression within the evaluated grade is only possible where there is objective evidence of outstanding performance or there is evidence that demonstrates inequality of pay level with comparable peers. Any such increase must be approved by the relevant Executive Director or Deputy Chief Executive and reasons provided to HR.
11.4 In addition to 11.3, accelerated increments would be paid for the progression within an existing career grade structure where skills and competencies (including academic attainment) have been achieved which meet predetermined career grade progression criteria.
11.5 The acceleration of an employee through the gateway of their existing grade, needs to be evidenced and certified by the Service Manager as meeting pre-existing and defined career progression criteria and approved by the Executive Director. Copies of the evidence to support such a decision need to be placed on the employee’s personal file held by HR.
11.6 Any career grade progression is conditional upon budget provision being available.
11.7 Employees successfully moving posts within the Council will be subject to the principle of annual incremental progression assessment. They will no longer receive an automatic increment 6 months after being in their new post.
12.1 Child Care Solicitors – This section, based in RBC’s Legal Service, provides a service to other Berkshire Unitary Councils. Staff who were employed by the former Berkshire County Council retain local pay and progression arrangements which were inherited by RBC as a result of Statutory Transfer Order / TUPE provisions.
13.1 The Council’s policy is to not pay any form of “signing on” fee or incentive payment when recruiting, except where there are significant recruitment difficulties that jeopardise service delivery, as identified and approved by CMT.
13.2 The starting pay point for all new employees (including internally appointed or promoted employees) should normally be the first point of the appropriate grade. There may be circumstances (e.g. offers from other employers, market forces) where it is necessary to make an offer that is at a higher point within the grade. The authority to make an offer higher than the starting point lies with the Deputy/Assistant Director, who must also consider the equality of such an exception and must inform the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development of the reason for the exception. This policy applies to all staff.
13.3 At the point of any assimilation to a new grade, employees moving to a higher grade will be placed at the bottom of that new grade.
14.1 Pension: Pension provision is an important part of the remuneration package. All employees may join the local government pension scheme (or the Teachers Pension Scheme for relevant staff) and are enrolled automatically unless they wish to opt out. The scheme is a statutory scheme with contributions from employees and from employers. The current employer contribution rate for Reading Borough Council is 14.8%. This rate is reviewed and set every three years by the actuary. Reading Borough Council is part of the Berkshire scheme, administered by the Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor. Neither the scheme nor the Council adopt different policies with regard to benefits for any category of employee: the same terms apply to the Chief Executive, chief officers and other staff.
14.2 Election / Returning Officer Fees: The Returning Officer is an officer of the Borough Council who is appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983. Whilst appointed by the Borough Council, the role of the Returning Officer is one which involves and incurs personal responsibility and accountability and is statutorily separate from his/her duties as an employee of the Borough Council. As Returning Officer, he/she is paid a separate allowance for each election for which he/she is responsible.
14.3 Separate fees will be paid to the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services for undertaking Returning Officer duties which are not part of the post’s substantive role. These fees will be paid in line with the amount recommended by the Government or Electoral Commission for Parliamentary and European elections and referendums, or as set out in the Council’s budget estimates for local elections.
14.4 The Returning Officer may appoint one or more Deputy Returning Officers, and pay a fee to them for undertaking the duties that the Returning Officer allocates to them.
14.5 Market Supplements: The Council may pay a market supplement, in addition to base salary, in order to recruit or retain staff with special skills experience or knowledge. Market supplements are applied, reviewed and withdrawn in accordance with the Council’s market supplement policy, which is published on the Council’s website. The Head of Paid Service has delegated authority to determine posts for which salary supplements will be paid, and the amount and duration of the supplement, in consultation with the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development and the relevant Executive Director or Deputy Chief Executive.
14.6 Honorarium and other temporary additional payments:
Under the Council’s scheme of delegation to officers, Executive Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors are authorised to approve additional payments in the circumstances described below:
(a)‘Acting-up’ – The employee will either receive the ‘rate for the job’ that they are covering if they are undertaking the full range of duties and responsibilities. As a minimum, this means that they will be paid at the first spinal column point of the grade of the post that they are acting up into. If the employee is not undertaking the full range of duties of a higher graded post, then an acting up allowance will be paid. The allowance will be a percentage of the difference between the first point on the grade of the post being covered and the employee’s current salary equivalent to the percentage proportion of higher responsibility being undertaken.
(b) Honorarium payments – Where an employee is undertaking work on a project or discrete piece of work which would fall outside of the normal range of duties expected for his / her particular post, then the employee shall be eligible for an honorarium payment for the duration of the project.
The level of payment made should be determined with regard to the level of responsibilities being undertaken and this should be determined with regard to the Council’s Job Evaluation Scheme. All such payments must be approved by the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development to ensure proper application of the Council’s policy.
The employee will be paid an amount appropriate to the proportion of their time being spent working at this higher level on a monthly basis for the duration of the project / programme.
15.1 Annual Leave: The following annual leave entitlements apply
15.2 Salary Sacrifice Schemes / Employee discount schemes: All employees can access salary sacrifice schemes for childcare vouchers, Kennet Day Nursery, Added Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), bicycle purchase, and lease cars (from 2019). There are also non-subsidised employee discount schemes.
15.3 Flexible Working: All employees can access flexible working arrangements subject always to the needs of the service.
15.4 Car Allowances / Expenses: The Council will meet or reimburse authorised travel, subsistence and (exceptionally) accommodation costs for attendance at necessary and approved meetings and training events. The Council does not regard such costs as remuneration but as non-pay operational costs. This policy is applied consistently to the Head of Paid Service, chief officers and other employees. The locally determined car allowance reimbursement rate for necessary and approved work-related travel is 45p per mile for all authorised car users. No other car allowance (e.g. monthly lump sum) is payable to any employee.
16.1 Under the Council’s Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the decision to effect dismissal or retirement on the grounds of redundancy or efficiency of the service is a decision of Personnel Committee for posts at Deputy/Assistant Director and above. The decision is delegated to the relevant Executive Director for all posts below this level.
16.2 However, the final decision as to the compensation to be paid as a result of such dismissal decisions, for all posts, is a decision of Personnel Committee. Personnel Committee also need to approve any employee requests for early retirement which require employer consent and entail a cost to the Council.
16.3 Each of the proposals presented to the Committee must first be considered and agreed by an officer panel comprising the Executive Director of Resources (S151 Officer), Monitoring Officer and the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development. This panel is established to monitor applications on the basis of consistency, legality and financial prudence. In terms of financial prudence, each case must demonstrate a ‘payback period’ within one year, or, exceptionally, two years in ‘efficiency of the service’ cases if sufficient service and efficiency benefits to the Council can be demonstrated. This Panel also assesses associated questions e.g. exercise of exceptional discretion; reasonableness of alternative employment in redundancy cases etc.
16.4 In the event that the compensation to be paid exceeds £100,000 in total, then full Council will be offered an opportunity to vote on the matter prior to approval.
16.5 Discretionary Enhancement of Redundancy Payments: The policy for the award of any discretionary payments is the same for all staff regardless of their pay level. Redundancy payments under regulation 5 of the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England & Wales) Regulations 2006 provide discretion to pay up to an overall lump sum of 2 times the statutory redundancy payment formula based on actual weeks pay, capped at 52 weeks’ pay (may be adjusted following consultation). This is payable to employees made redundant with 2 or more years continuous service regardless of their age. Discretionary compensation can be reduced in cases where an offer of suitable alternative employment is deemed to have been unreasonably refused.
16.6 Settlement Agreements: In exceptional circumstances, and specifically so as to settle a claim or potential dispute the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services can agree payment of a termination settlement sum (subject to a decision of Personnel Committee if outside the normal framework for termination payments as set out in this section).
16.7 Policy on Re-Employment: The policy for re-employment following redundancy / efficiency termination is the same for all staff regardless of their pay level. Employees in receipt of compensation payment for loss of employment which has had discretionary enhancements applied to it are not permitted to take up employment with Reading Borough Council within 12 months of the ending of their current employment.
16.8 Flexible Retirement: In accordance with Superannuation Regulations, rather than continuing in their current job to age 65 employees can, on or after age 55 and with Council consent, reduce their hours of work or the grade in which they are employed and draw (some or all of) their accrued pension benefits whilst continuing in employment and building up further benefits in the Scheme – enabling them to ease into retirement. Employees must be 55 or over and have 3 or more months’ membership in the LGPS (including transferred rights) in order to be eligible to make a flexible retirement request following a reduction in hours or grade. Pension benefits will normally be reduced if paid before age 65. This policy is open to all employees, subject to financial requirements being met (net savings to the Council and a pay back period of no more than 2 years).
17.1 The Council’s current policy statement on the use of discretions under the relevant Superannuation Regulations is attached as Annex E.
18.1 The Council’s pay protection policy is approved by the Personnel Committee as part of the Employment Stability Agreement. The policy provides a mechanism for assisting employees to adjust to a reduction in pay as a result of organisational change.
19.1 This Pay Policy Statement will be published on the Council’s website. In addition, details of all posts paid above £50,000 will be published.
20.1 As the policy covers the period April 2021 to the end of March 2022, amendments may need to be made to the policy throughout the relevant period. As the Localism Act 2011 requires that any amendments are approved by the Council by resolution, proposed amendments will be reported to Personnel Committee for recommendation to the Council.
21.1 This policy statement will be reviewed each year and will be presented to full Council each year for consideration in order to ensure that a policy is in place for the authority prior to the start of each financial year.
The Secretary of State for CLG Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency indicates that local authorities should publish the following data concerning staff:
The Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations (2011) require that the following data is included in the authority’s accounts:
For the above remuneration is to include:
For the above pension contributions to include:
These provisions are subject to amendment as the source documents are amended
1.1 Constitution of Reading Borough Council
Part 3.3 Responsibility for Council Functions (Schedule 1, Part 2):
|37. Power to appoint staff, and to determine the terms and conditions on which they hold office (including procedures for dismissal)||Section 112 of the Local Government Act 1972.||Personnel Committee General Delegation to Executive Directors and Deputy/Assistant Directors|
|40. Power to appoint officers for particular purposes (appointment of “proper officers”)||Section 270(3) of the Local Government Act 1972||Personnel Committee|
|43. Duty to designate officer as head of the authority’s paid service, and to provide staff, etc||Section 4(1) of the Local Government & Housing Act 1989 (c.42)||Council|
1.2 The Officer Employment Procedure Rules are in Part 4 of the Constitution.
The terms and conditions for the Head of Paid Service are as set out by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Chief Executives, and as amended locally. Pay is determined locally.
The terms and conditions for the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Directors are in accordance with the Scheme of Conditions of Service agreed by the National Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Officers, and as amended locally. Pay is determined locally.
The terms and conditions for Deputy/Assistant Directors are as set out by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Chief Officers, and as amended locally. Pay is determined locally.
The Terms and conditions for NJC staff are determined by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services, and as amended locally.
The Terms and conditions for NJC staff are determined by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Craft and Associated Employees, and as amended locally.
The terms and conditions for Teachers are as set out in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document.
The Soulbury Committee determines the national salary framework for Soulbury staff and terms and conditions, as amended locally.
The terms and conditions for Youth Workers are as determined by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth and Community Workers, and as amended locally.
The terms and conditions for Coroners are set by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Coroners, and as amended locally.
Up to 18,562
1 – based on 2020 pay bands and earnings
2 – as a proportion of employees who have made a positive declaration
3 – excludes schools
The Scheme employer known as Reading Borough Council (‘the Council’) has prepared this written statement of policy in relation to its exercise of certain discretionary functions available under the Local Pension Scheme Regulations 2013. The Scheme employer declares that it will keep this statement under review and publish the statement (and any amendments made thereto) in a place that is easily accessible to all of its eligible Scheme employees and that it will provide to the administering authority the most up to date version of the statement at all times.
The Scheme employer may resolve to fund in whole or in part any arrangement entered into by an active scheme member to pay additional pension contributions by way of regular contributions in accordance with Regulation 16(2)(e), or by way of a lump sum in accordance with Regulation 16(4)(d).
The Scheme employer may enter into an APC contract with a Scheme member who is contributing to the MAIN section of the Scheme in order to purchase additional pension of not more than the additional pension limit (£6,500 from 1st April 2014 subject to annual increase in line with the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971).
The amount of additional contribution to be paid is determined by reference to actuarial guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
Consideration needs to be given to the circumstances under which the Scheme employer may wish to use their discretion to fund in whole or in part an employee’s Additional Pension Contributions.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the whole or part funding of an active member’s additional pension contributions
The Council has resolved not to adopt this discretion at this time.
An active member who has attained the age of 55 or over and who with the agreement of their employer reduces their working hours or grade of employment may, with the further consent of their employer, elect to receive immediate payment of all or part of the retirement pension to which they would be entitled in respect of that employment as if that member were no longer an employee in local government service on the date of the reduction in hours or grade (adjusted by the amount shown as appropriate in actuarial guidance issued by the Secretary of State – separate policy required under Regulation 30(8)).
As part of the policy making decision the Scheme employer must consider whether, in addition to the benefits the member may have accrued prior to 1 April 2008 (which the member must draw), to permit the member to choose to draw all, part or none of the pension benefits they built up after 31 March 2008 and before 1 April 2014 and all, part of none of the pension benefits they built up after 1 April 2014.
Due consideration must be given to the financial implications of allowing an employee to draw all or part of their pension benefits earlier than their normal retirement age.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning flexible retirement
The Council has resolved that it will give such an opportunity to its employees. Flexible Retirement under this discretion will be subject to an agreed policy framework. The Council has resolved that waiving actuarial reduction in full or in part will only be considered where there will be a sufficient financial or other benefit to the authority. An exception to this requirement is the employee’s exceptionally difficult personal or domestic circumstances
Where a Scheme employer’s policy under regulation 30(6) (flexible retirement) is to consent to the immediate release of benefits in respect of an active member who is aged 55 or over, those benefits must be adjusted by an amount shown as appropriate in actuarial guidance issued by the Secretary of State (commonly referred to as actuarial reduction or early payment reduction).
A Scheme employer (or former employer as the case may be) may agree to waive in whole or in part and at their own cost, any actuarial reduction that may be required by the Scheme Regulations.
Due consideration must be given to the financial implications of agreeing to waive in whole or in part any actuarial reduction.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the waiving of actuarial reduction
That the Council does not consent to waive any actuarial reduction for staff electing to retire at age 55 or over, unless there is a sufficient financial or other benefit to the Council. An exception to this requirement is the employee’s exceptionally difficult personal or domestic circumstances.
A Scheme employer may resolve to award
(a) an active member, or
(b) a member who was an active member but dismissed by reason of redundancy, or business efficiency, or whose employment was terminated by mutual consent on grounds of business efficiency,
additional annual pension of, in total (including any additional pension purchased by the Scheme employer under Regulation 16), not more than the additional pension limit (£6,500 from 1st April 2014 subject to annual increase in line with the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971).
Any additional pension awarded is payable from the same date as any pension payable under other provisions of the Scheme Regulations from the account to which the additional pension is attached.
In the case of a member falling within sub-paragraph (b) above, the resolution to award additional pension must be made within 6 months of the date that the member’s employment ended.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the award of additional pension
The Council has resolved not to adopt this discretion at this time
Where a scheme member retires or leaves employment and elects to draw their benefits at or after the age of 55 and before the age of 60 those benefits will be actuarially reduced unless their Scheme employer agrees to meet the full or part cost of those reductions as a result of the member otherwise being protected under the 85 year rule as set out in previous Regulations.
So as to avoid the member suffering the full reduction to their benefits the Scheme employer can ‘switch on’ the 85 year rule protections thereby allowing the member to receive fully or partly unreduced benefits but subject to the Scheme employer paying a strain (capital) cost to the Pension Fund
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the ‘switching on of the 85 year rule
That the Council does not consent to switch on the 85 year rule for staff electing to retire at age 55, unless there is a sufficient financial or other benefit to the Council. An exception to this requirement may be the employee’s exceptionally difficult personal or domestic circumstances.
Where an active member changes employment or there is a material change which affects the member’s pensionable pay during the course of a financial year, the Scheme employer may determine that a contribution rate from a different band (as set out in Regulation 9(2)) should be applied.
Where the Scheme employer makes such a determination it shall inform the member of the revised contribution rate and the date from which it is to be applied.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the re-determination of active members’ contribution bandings at any date other than 1st April
The Council shall re-determine contribution rates on 1st April each year only. Staff joining the scheme shall be placed in a contribution band consistent with their contracted, actual pay in the first instance except for casual staff who shall initially be placed on the lowest contribution band. The banding placement for individual staff shall be re-determined with effect from the 1st April only in subsequent years following initial placement and adjusted as necessary in the light of the pensionable pay actually earned in the previous year (using a ‘12 month equivalent’ calculation for staff who have not worked a full year).
An active member may enter into arrangements to pay additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) or to contribute to a shared cost additional voluntary contribution arrangement (SCAVCs) in respect of an employment. The arrangement must be a scheme established between the appropriate administering authority and a body approved for the purposes of the Finance Act 2004, registered in accordance with that Act and administered in accordance with the Pensions Act 2004.
The Scheme employer needs to determine whether or not it will make contributions to such an arrangement on behalf of its active members
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning payment of Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contributions
The Council will pay SCAVC contributions where an employee has elected to pay AVCs by salary sacrifice. The amount of these employer SCAVC contributions will not exceed the amount of salary sacrificed by the employee. This is a Council discretion which is subject to the employee meeting the Council’s conditions for acceptance into the salary sacrifice shared cost AVC scheme and may be withdrawn or changed at any time.
A deferred member’s pension account is automatically aggregated with their active member’s pension account unless the member elects within the first 12 months of the new active member’s pension account being opened to retain their deferred member’s pension account.
A Scheme employer can, at their discretion, extend the 12 month election period.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning merging of Deferred Member Pension Accounts with Active Member Pension Accounts
The Council has resolved not to extend the time limit for election beyond 12 months.
A request from an active member to transfer former pension rights from a previous arrangement into the Local Government Pension Scheme as a result of their employment with a Scheme employer must be made in writing to the administering authority and the Scheme employer before the expiry of the period of 12 months beginning with the date on which the employee first became an active member in an employment (or such longer period as the Scheme employer and administering authority may allow).
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning the extension of the 12 month transfer application period
The Council has resolved not to extend the time limit for election beyond 12 months.
A Scheme employer needs to determine whether or not to include in the calculation of assumed pensionable pay, any ‘regular lump sum payment’ received by a Scheme member in the 12 months preceding the date that gave rise to the need for an assumed pensionable pay figure to be calculated.
Scheme Employer’s policy concerning inclusion of ‘regular lump sum payments’ in assumed pensionable pay calculations
That the Council does include in such calculations an element for ‘regular lump sum payment’ where it is fair, equitable and justifiable to do so.
Each Scheme employer must appoint a person (“the adjudicator”) to consider applications from any person whose rights or liabilities under the Scheme are affected by:
and to make a decision on such applications.
Responsibility for determinations under this first stage of the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure (IDRP) rests with “the adjudicator” as named below by the Scheme employer:
Name: Michael Graham
Job Title: Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services
Address: Civic Centre, Reading Tel No: 0118 9373470
SCHEME EMPLOYER CONFIRMATION
It is understood that the discretions contained within this statement of policy are applicable to all eligible members of the Scheme. The Scheme rules allow for a revised statement to be issued at least one month in advance of the date that any new policy takes effect. The revised statement must be sent to the administering authority and the employer must publish its statement as revised in a place that is accessible to all of its eligible scheme members.
The policies made above:
Have regard to the extent to which the exercise of the discretions could lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service;
Will not be used for any ulterior motive;
Will be exercised reasonably;
Will only be used when there is a real and substantial future benefit to the employer for incurring the extra costs that may arise;
Will be duly recorded when applied.
Signed on behalf of the Scheme Employer:
Name in Block Capitals: JACKIE YATES
Position: DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Scheme Employer’s Name: READING BOROUGH COUNCIL