Interim NICS head ‘earning £240k a year’

Temporary boss Jenny Pyper’s remuneration package includes payment in lieu of pension, says Northern Ireland Executive Office
Jenny Pyper

By Jim Dunton

08 Dec 2020

Newly-appointed interim head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Jenny Pyper is on a pay package worth £240,000 a year, it has emerged.

Pyper was named as temporary head of the NICS at the end of last month, filling the role that has been vacant since Sir David Sterling retired at the end of August. Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill were unable to agree a successor to Sterling after a recruitment round that concluded in September. 

Pyper, who was most recently chief executive of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, is expected to serve as interim NICS head for around eight months while a review of the head-of-civil-service role is undertaken and a new recruitment round takes place.

As CSW reported when the appointment was announced, the Northern Ireland Executive Office said Pyper would be paid £174,417 “plus an amount equivalent to usual NICS employer’s pension contribution”. 

Northern Ireland’s News Letter said the Executive Office confirmed that the unspecified payment in lieu of pension contributions would take Pyper’s salary package up to £240,000 a year, pro-rata.

It quoted the Executive Office stating that the interim head’s remuneration was “in line with the package available in the recent HOCS recruitment competition”.

That package offered up to £190,000 to Sterling’s successor as NICS head.

The Executive Office added: “The interim HOCS arrangement is facilitated through the Strategic Investment Board and the process involved focused conversations with two suitably qualified and experienced individuals assessed against the eligibility criteria and person specification for the HOCS recruitment competition.”

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