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About the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Board

Pension boards for SPPA-administered schemes came into force in 2015. Each has equal numbers of employer and member representatives and can also include independent experts.

A pension board member’s role is to assist the scheme manager in securing compliance with the scheme regulations and the requirements set by The Pension Regulator.

Board members must have knowledge and understanding of relevant pensions law and a working knowledge of scheme regulations and relevant documentation. They also have a duty to act in accordance with scheme regulations and other governing legislation and must satisfy SPPA that no conflicts of interest exist either before or during their board membership.

The board normally meets four times a year. The Board has one independent Chair, one independent Vice Chair, six employer-nominated representatives and six member-nominated representatives. SPPA’s Chief Executive (or a delegated representative) also attends board meetings in a reporting capacity.

The Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme (Scotland) (No.2) 2014 regulations reflect the Pension Board governance arrangements.

Scottish Teachers’ Pension Board Members

George Brechin, Independent Chair

George studied at Glasgow University and began his professional career at the Department of Health in London. He moved to the NHS in Scotland in the 1980s and retired in 2012 after ten years as Chief Executive of NHS Fife.

As employer-side chair of the NHS Scotland Pension scheme negotiations in 2012, he has significant scheme development experience as well as strong communication skills in a board setting and deep knowledge of the public sector pensions environment.

Ray Martin, Independent Vice Chair

Ray Martin has spent over 35 years in private sector pension provision, working with companies like Diageo, ICI, Astra Zeneca, Scottish & Newcastle, DHL and RBS. He has practical experience of managing pension arrangements in over 70 countries and has lived and worked in a number of countries around the world. Ray currently lives and works in Switzerland, although he has maintained a family home in West Lothian, Scotland. Ray is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and has qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He also acts as an independent trustee for two UK pension schemes.

Brian Cookson, member representative

Brian Cookson has been National Treasurer of NASUWT since 2009. He has taught almost continuously in Local Authority Schools since qualifying in 1973. Brian has been proud and privileged to hold a number of lay officer roles in the NASUWT and has been on the NASUWT National Executive since 1997. He was also an NASUWT representative on the Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme Negotiating Group. Brian is very familiar with the Scottish educational landscape, including curriculum and qualifications' reform. As a trade union representative of Scottish teachers, he has very good knowledge of the pay and conditions framework in Scotland's schools. He’s also been a Chair of Trustees for a private pension scheme for over five years.

John Crichton, member representative

John Crichton is a Professional Officer with the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA). He is an SSTA representative on the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) Pay and Conditions of Service Technical Sub Group and the Management Advisory Group for STSS. He’s also a member of the Ill Health Retirement Review Sub-group.

John has an honours degree in Economics and has 28 years’ teaching experience in Business Studies/Accounting as well as four years of service on the SSTA Finance Committee and more than nine years’ experience as a full-time trade union official dealing with STSS members. John has a strong interest in the operation of the STSS and pensions.

David McGinty, member representative

David was a Trustee of the EIS Superannuation Scheme for Officers, Officials and Staff from 2004 to 2016. During that time, he worked with, and received training from, two firms of actuaries: Mercers and First Actuarial. From 2008, David was Convenor of Trustees and chaired all the meetings.

Drew Morrice, member representative

Drew was assistant secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland from October 2003 until February 2017. During that period he had responsibility for pension matters. He has been a member of the Teachers' Superannuation Working Party, SPPA Management Advisory Group Scotland (MAGS), The Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme Negotiations and the STPA Advisory Board.

Leah Franchetti, employer representative

Leah has been employed by the Educational Institute of Scotland in her current role for nearly five years, advising and representing teachers and lecturers on employment matters including pension enquiries.

Sharon McKenzie, employer representative

Sharon McKenzie is Head of Human Resources at Fife Council. She has worked in the public sector for more than 30 years and in senior roles for around 20 years. She has always had an interest in the policy side of pension regulations covering both the LGPS and Teachers. As a consequence, she has a good working knowledge of current and developing regulations.

Sharon has a lead role within Fife Council in the development of pension policy which requires the ability to translate complex regulatory frameworks into clear and simple statements of policy and good practice.

Peter Smith, employer representative

Peter Smith is Vice Principal, Finance and Resources, at North East Scotland College. He was nominated to the Board by Colleges Scotland to represent the college sector employers. As a member of the College's senior management team, he has responsibility for the finance, estates and ICT as well as strategic and operational risk management, legal matters and issues related to governance and compliance.

He has a wide appreciation of the issues facing individual colleges and scheme members as well as those affecting the whole sector. He has been a member of the Steering Group for the College Finance Development Network since 2007 and chaired the group from 2011 - 2014. He was a lay member of the Pensions and Trusts sub-committee of City of Edinburgh Council from 2006 - 2007 and represented Borders College as a scheduled body of the Scottish Borders Council LGPS from 2007 prior to membership of the Scottish Borders LGPS Pension Board from April 2015 to September 2018.

Peter is a Trustee of both the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges and Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges and has experience of the duties in applying independence to matters concerning the governance of those bodies. Peter also acts as Company Secretary for Aberdeen Skills and Enterprise Training Limited.

Councillor David Illingworth, employer representative

David has been an elected member of Perth and Kinross Council since May 2017. He graduated with an MA (Hons) in Economics from University of Dundee in 1984 and also has a post-graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis and Design from Napier University.

He was a systems analyst with Aviva UK from 1988 to 2006 which included periods working for General Accident Investment Management and within Aviva’s Statistics Department.

More recently, David has worked as an independent contractor mainly in software design and analysis with a number of different bodies. He also has an academic background in Econometric Analysis and two years’ experience in investment banking as well as considerable project management experience.

Debbie Walls, employer representative

I am a Chartered member of the CIPD and have recently joined COSLA where I am a Policy Manager in the Employers’ Function. My role involves working with the teachers’ workforce to deliver national outcomes on pay and conditions. Prior to working for COSLA I spent nine years working as the Employee Relations and Policy Manager for Tesco Bank which involved working closely with the Reward team on pay and benefits. (This included supporting the Trade Union consultation on closing the previous Defined Benefit pension scheme and opening a new Defined Contribution scheme).

I also previously worked for AEGON, a large life and pensions company, for 17 years. I started my career there in finance and investment support roles before moving into various HR roles. I was also appointed to the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme Advisory Board on 17th June 2019.

There are currently two vacancies on the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Board for one member representative and one employer representative.

Further reading

Terms of Reference

Related documents

Teachers' Pension Board Annual Report 2018-19

Teachers' Pension Board Annual Report 2017-18

Please contact us if you wish access to previous years reports.

Minutes and Agenda's

Teachers Agenda 28 August 2019

Teachers Minutes 28 August 2019

Teachers Agenda 29 May 2019

Teachers Minutes 29 May 2019

Teachers Agenda 27 February 2019

Teachers Minutes 27 February 2019

Teachers Agenda 27 November 2018

Teachers Minutes 27 November 2018

Teachers Agenda 21 August 2018

Teachers Minutes 21 August 2018

STSS Agenda 10 May 2018

STSS Minutes 10 May 2018

STSS Agenda 21 February 2018

STSS Minutes 21 February 2018

STSS Agenda 14 December 2017

STSS Minutes 14 December 2017

STSS Agenda 21 September 2017

STSS Minutes 21 September 2017

Please contact us if you wish access to previous years minutes.

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