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Key points

  • People involved with governing and administering public service schemes include scheme managers, pension board members and administrators.
  • The Pensions Regulator is responsible for overseeing and regulating the governance and administration of public service schemes in the UK. 

Governing and administering public service schemes

A number of different people are involved in governing and administering public service schemes. The roles and responsibilities may vary from scheme to scheme, eg some functions may be delegated or outsourced.

Scheme manager

The scheme manager has overall management or administration responsibility for a scheme. The scheme managers in England and Wales are expected to be the:

  • administering authorities in the local government scheme
  • chief police officers in the police scheme
  • fire and rescue authorities in the firefighters’ scheme
  • minister or secretary of state in the other schemes (armed forces, civil service, judicial, NHS and teachers)

The arrangements for the devolved schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be confirmed in due course.

Pension boards

Pension boards are responsible for assisting the scheme manager in securing compliance with:

  • scheme regulations
  • other governance and administration legislation
  • any requirements of The Pensions Regulator
  • additional matters, if specified by scheme regulations

Pension boards need to have an equal number of employer representatives and member representatives. They may also have other types of members, such as independent experts.

Scheme administrators

The scheme administrator may keep records, collect contributions and pay benefits to members. They may be in-house or a third party.


Employers may carry out a number of tasks including:

  • paying contributions
  • keeping and providing data to the scheme manager and/or administrator
  • dealing with disputes

Scheme advisers

Advisers and service providers can help those governing and administering schemes to make informed decisions.

Responsible authority

The responsible authority designs the scheme and makes the scheme regulations, which will specify the scheme manager and the matters for which the pension board is responsible.

Scheme advisory board

The scheme advisory board is responsible for advising the responsible authority about possible scheme changes. In some schemes, the board may also advise scheme managers and/or pension boards on improving the administration and management of the scheme.

Regulating public service schemes

The Pensions Regulator and government departments have roles in relation to public service schemes. For more information, go to introduction to public service pension schemes.