The NPC's federal structure promotes the principle of delegatory democracy, so that the widest possible number of pensioners can have their views represented and discussed, and in turn, receive information and material, through the structure of their own organisations.
Local pensioner groups and forums are therefore encouraged to affiliate to their NPC regional body and that body has representation on both the NPC Executive Committee (EC) and National Council (NC). They can also join the NPC directly, so as to ensure that they receive all the important information, publications and newsletters.
Likewise, local branches of retired trade unionists and federations can have their views promoted via their national body’s delegates to the EC and NC. In addition, major policy issues, changes to the constitution and the election of the NPC’s officers are dealt with at the Biennial Delegate Conference (BDC) open to all recognised national affiliates and regional groups.
The NPC’s Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the work of the officers, working parties and general activities of the NPC. It meets every two months and receives reports from the General Secretary, Treasurer, working parties and NPC staff. It is made up of four sections: A delegate from each NPC region, national trade union retired members’ section, national pensioner organisation and the 8 NPC officers.
The NPC’s National Council meets twice a year and has a number of specific tasks such as approving the annual audited accounts on the year when the BDC doesn’t meet. Like the EC, it is constituted in the same four sections, but with a greater number of delegates. Up to 4 delegates from each NPC region, national trade union retired members’ section, national pensioner organisation and the 8 NPC officers.
BIENNIAL DELEGATE COUNCIL
The Biennial Delegate Council is the policy making body of the NPC, where the 8 officers are elected and motions are debated. It takes place every two years and the numbers attending are made up in exactly the same way as the National Council.
The Annual Convention reflects the dual character of the NPC; on the one hand a federal democratic structure leading to a policy-making biennial conference comprised of elected delegates from national affiliates and NPC regions, and on the other a social movement with members organised in local action groups and forums as well as local trade union retired members’ branches. In effect, the Annual Convention is an advisory body, putting flesh on the bones of NPC policy.
NPC REGIONAL GROUPS
The UK is divided into various regional and devolved nation groups, each with their own constitution and way of working. They have their own affiliated groups and individuals in membership, and meet regularly with a Regional Council and a Regional Executive, along the same lines as the national NPC.
NPC WORKING PARTIES
THE EC has set up a number of working parties over the years, to look at specific aspects of the NPC's work, organisation or policy. They are elected every 2 years, following each BDC and consists of up to 10 members each, excluding Officers or staff. They are made up of affiliates who have interests and background knowledge of the subject, complimented by external experts and advisers monitoring NPC policy.
Individuals can join the NPC directly at a national level, for which they would receive information, and / or at a regional level where they can attend meetings and have their say. In addition, they can also join local pensioner forums or associations.