Coroners (Salaries and Superannuation) Determination 2017

2017/162

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Coroners (Salaries and Superannuation) Determination 2017

Pursuant to section 110(1) of the Coroners Act 2006 and section 12B(1)(f) and (2)of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977, the Remuneration Authority makes the following determination (to which is appended an explanatory memorandum).

Determination

1 Title

This determination is the Coroners (Salaries and Superannuation) Determination 2017.

2 Commencement

This determination is deemed to have come into force on 1 January 2017.

3 Expiry

This determination expires on 31 December 2017.

4 Interpretation

In this determination, unless the context otherwise requires,—

coroner

(a)

means a person holding office under any of sections 103, 104, or 105 of the Coroners Act 2006; but

(b)

does not include a person who, under section 22(a) of the District Court Act 2016, is a coroner by virtue of holding office as a District Court Judge

new GSF Scheme means the new Government service superannuation scheme established under Part 2A of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956

retirement scheme means a retirement scheme as defined in section 6(1) of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, other than the new GSF Scheme

year means a period of 12 months ending on 31 December.

5 Salaries of coroners and Chief Coroner

(1)

The salary payable to a coroner must be at the annual rate of $269,200.

(2)

The salary payable to a Chief Coroner who is not a Judge must be at the annual rate of $344,900, payable from the date on which the Chief Coroner is appointed.

(3)

A relief coroner appointed under section 104 of the Coroners Act 2006 is entitled to an additional payment of up to $40,400 per annum by way of salary, in recognition of the fact that a relief coroner is not entitled to receive superannuation contributions under clause 7, provided that the annual sum of the following amounts does not exceed $309,600:

(a)

the salary payable under subclause (1); and

(b)

any additional payment under this subclause; and

(c)

any superannuation subsidy (inclusive of any tax liability) that the coroner is entitled to be paid by the Crown other than under this determination.

(4)

Each coroner and the Chief Coroner must be paid a taxable National Duty Coroner allowance at the rate of $10,400 per annum, in recognition of the fact that all coroners and the Chief Coroner are, from time to time, rostered to act as National Duty Coroner.

6 Limited application of clause 7

Clause 7 does not apply to—

(a)

a Chief Coroner who is a Judge; or

(b)

a coroner who—

(i)

is a former coroner appointed under section 103(5) of the Coroners Act 2006; or

(ii)

is a relief coroner appointed under section 104 of the Coroners Act 2006; or

(iii)

is a current contributor under Part 5A of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956; or

(iv)

is a current contributor to the new GSF Scheme.

7 Eligibility for subsidy on contributions to retirement scheme

(1)

A coroner or Chief Coroner who chooses to contribute to a retirement scheme is entitled to have a subsidy paid on his or her contribution.

(2)

The maximum amount of superannuation subsidy (inclusive of any tax liability) that is payable in any year is 20% of the gross salary and National Duty Coroner allowance actually paid to the coroner or Chief Coroner in that year.

(3)

In order to qualify for a superannuation subsidy, the contribution that the coroner or Chief Coroner must make to the retirement scheme, when expressed as a ratio of the superannuation subsidy to that person’s contribution, is 5:1.

8 Judicial determinations do not apply to coroners

To avoid doubt,—

(a)

nothing in the Judicial Salaries and Allowances Determination 2017 applies to coroners; and

(b)

nothing in the Judicial Superannuation Determination 2006 applies to coroners to whom clause 7 applies.

9 Revocation

Dated at Wellington this 5th day of July 2017.

Fran Wilde,
Chairperson.

Geoff Summers,
Member.

Explanatory memorandum

This memorandum is not part of the determination, but is intended to indicate its general effect.

This determination, which is deemed to have come into force on 1 January 2017 and expires on 31 December 2017, sets the salaries and superannuation rights of coroners and a Chief Coroner who is not a Judge.

The Remuneration Authority (the Authority) is required to have regard to the following when setting remuneration for coroners and other judicial officers:

  • the need to achieve and maintain fair relativity with the levels of remuneration received elsewhere; and

  • the need to be fair both—

    • to the persons or group of persons whose remuneration is being determined; and

    • to the taxpayer; and

  • the need to recruit and retain competent persons.

In addition, the Authority must take into account—

  • the requirements of the position concerned; and

  • the conditions of service enjoyed by the persons whose remuneration is being determined and those enjoyed by the persons or members of the group of persons whose remuneration and conditions of employment are, in the opinion of the Authority, comparable with those of the persons or members of the group whose remuneration is being determined; and

  • any prevailing adverse economic conditions, based on evidence from an authoritative source, and may determine the remuneration at a rate lower than it would otherwise have determined.

This determination increases the salary of coroners from $264,690 to $269,200, in line with the increase in salaries that the Authority determined for District Court Judges in 2016/17. It also provides for a salary of $344,900 for a Chief Coroner who is not a Judge.

The Authority has taken account of the fact that each coroner, including the Chief Coroner, is required to operate as the National Duty Coroner from time to time so that there is a coroner on duty 24 hours per day every day of the year. This is an onerous requirement and has the effect that each coroner must complete around 400 hours of rostered on-duty each year during which their personal freedoms are somewhat curtailed. In considering the Authority’s responsibility to be fair to the group of persons whose remuneration is being determined, the Authority has determined to provide an allowance to compensate coroners for their on-call work as National Duty Coroner. The allowance is not large, but the Authority believes it provides a reasonable compensation for the time imposition on the coroners.

The determination is for a year, from 1 January 2017. The determination could not be finalised earlier because of the preparatory work that the Authority was required to undertake before making the determination.

Issued under the authority of the Legislation Act 2012.

Date of notification in Gazette: 13 July 2017.