Independent Financial Review Panel

Information and timeline on the establishment of an Independent Financial Review Panel

The Panel was established on 1 July 2011 by the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (“the Act”) to make determinations in relation to the salaries, allowances and pensions payable to members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

Section 2 of the Act describes the functions of the Independent Financial Review Panel as:

To make determinations as to:

  • The salaries and allowances payable to members of the Assembly under section 47 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998; and
  • The pensions, gratuities and allowances payable under section 48 of that Act.

The objectives of the Panel as set out in the Act are to:

  • ensure probity, accountability and value for money with respect to the expenditure of public funds;
  • secure for the members of the Assembly a level of remuneration which:
    • fairly reflects the complexity and importance of their functions as members of the Assembly; and
    • does not, on financial grounds, deter people with the necessary commitment and ability from seeking election to the Assembly;
    • secure for members of the Assembly adequate resources to enable them to exercise their functions as members of the Assembly, and


The Panel is a completely independent body.  Under the Act, the Panel controls members’ pay, allowances and pensions by issuing “Determinations” setting out its decisions.  The Determinations are implemented by the Assembly Commission and the Secretariat. The Panel may make a Determination in relation to Members’ salaries, allowances, expenses and pensions once for each mandate.  It is only in exceptional circumstances that the Panel can make more than one Determination in relation to a mandate.  Once these Determinations have been issued, the Assembly is unable to amend them. 

Further information on the Independent Financial Review Panel can be accessed at