Head of Pensions and Operational Reward

Birmingham, Leeds, London, Swansea
National: £48,774 & London: £54,105
10 Sep 2021
26 Sep 2021
Contract Type

About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Do you have experience managing pensions and working with payroll and external corporate service providers?

Are you a leader who is passionate about ensuring staff receive the best service from HR corporate services throughout their whole journey through an organisation?

Would you like the opportunity to work in a rewarding role where you can take the lead in shaping the way of working for the Department’s pensions?

If so, we’re looking for your expertise to join us in DfT HR as our Head of Pensions and Operational Reward and we would love to hear from you!

Job description

We’re looking for an ambitious person to join the DfT Reward team - as the lead for pensions across the DfT Group you will have an objective to achieve our vision of a first-class pension experience for all DfT employees. This role covers not only the main Civil Service Pensions schemes but also the historic railway pension schemes for which the Secretary of State for Transport is the designated employer.

The post holder will also have responsibility for leading the operational reward team, dealing with a range of reward and payroll matters than can touch employees throughout their careers.

To do this, you’ll be:

• Overseeing and managing the Department’s pension schemes, working closely with administrators from Civil Service Pensions and historic railway pension schemes.

• Leading on maintaining and updating policy and related issues on all Civil Service Pensions issues affecting the DfT Group e.g. the impact of the McCloud judgement.

• Responsible for developing the Department’s policy on the future of the historic railway pension schemes for which the Secretary of State is the designated employer.

• Successfully managing the pensions team members, who are responsible for DfTc and Group matters.

• Building and maintaining excellent working relationships with our stakeholders whether that’s internal colleagues, other DfT agencies, other Government Departments, pensions trustees or external actuarial and legal advisers.

• Proactively managing the relationship with Shared Services, ensuring pension requirements are understood and taken forward.

• Managing and monitoring the expenditure on rail pensions and the financial impact of pension issues on the annual budget.

• Collaborating across the Department to ensure that pensions are recognised and understood as part of the DfT reward offer.

• Line managing and overseeing a team of 3 people working on operational reward issues such as processing performance awards, resolving overpayments and ensuring the Department achieves value from its shared services contracts.


Your main duties and responsibilities but not limited to:

• Providing excellent, ambitious leadership to a small pensions and operational reward team.

• Leading on the DfT Group’s Pensions function, including chairing the quarterly Group Pension Forum, attending monthly Cabinet Office/cross Government meetings and raising any requests for changes (RFCs) necessary for pension changes.

• Escalation point for pension issues/complaints by staff (and former staff).

• Providing briefings to senior managers on civil service pension issues, including the completion of the Annual Assurance Statement and input to the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts.

• Providing advice to Ministers and other senior staff on the Department’s statutory responsibility for the railway pension schemes for which the Secretary of State is the designated employer.

• Working across HR function to identify process improvements to reduce pension related issues, including identifying issues with the shared service provision and seeking improvements to the service.

• Managing financial planning and in-year management of the expenditure on rail pensions and the financial impact of pension issues on the team’s budget.

• Providing appropriate and timely advice to HR and sponsor branches on pension and rail staff travel issues; draft accurate and succinct replies for FOI cases, PQs, Ministerial and other correspondence as required.

For further information on this role please see the attached Role Profile

About You

We welcome applications from pro-active, ambitious and resourceful individuals, who have experience of working in pensions, reward and budgets.

You will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to tailor these to your audience; allowing you to quickly and comfortably build positive working relationships with a variety of colleagues at different levels both internally and externally.

You have strong analytical skills and will be confident resolving complex queries using data from a range of sources and carefully considering options available.

You can bring experience of project planning and change management with a proven track record of working to deadlines and the ability to adapt and change to evolving contexts.

With sound leadership, you will be able to provide a clear sense of direction and purpose with the ability to bring teams together to achieve success in changing environments.

If you’re looking for a role with autonomy, a true leadership voice and a refreshing challenge, we’d love to hear from you!


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to Apply

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV/Personal Statement to provide evidence of the below:

• Your experience and an understanding of working in pensions and/ or reward.
• Your experience of using excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build relationships with multiple stakeholders of all levels.
• Your experience of using analytical skills to resolve complex queries using data from a range of sources and carefully considering options available.
• Your experience of project planning and change management with a proven track record of working to deadlines and the ability to adapt and change to evolving contexts.
• Your experience of working with or managing a budget.

The sift is due to take place from 27th September 2021

Interviews are likely to be held from 8th October 2021

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:
• an interview

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Leadership. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email DRGComms@dft.gov.uk for assistance.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Joanna Fox Email :   Joanna.Fox@dft.gov.uk   Recruitment team : Email :   dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk

Similar jobs

Similar jobs