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Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009

Rule 92: Specific rules applying to a pension debit member

391.In addition to making the internal or external transfer for the pension credit of the ex-spouse or civil partner, the Fund trustees need to make a corresponding reduction of the rights of the other party. This reduction is made under section 31 of the 1999 Act. Rule 92 makes provision for the circumstances of the scheme within this general law.

392.Rule 92(1) provides a definition of a “pension debit member” as being an individual whose scheme benefits have been reduced in accordance with section 31 of the 1999 Act, as a consequence of a pension sharing order.

393.A pension debit member’s benefits are reduced so that the amount of benefit will be less when the pension comes into payment or when the death benefit is paid. The reduction reflects the appropriate reduction in benefits, except in the circumstances set out in rule 92(2).

394.Rule 92(2) provides that any reduction does not affect the pension debit member’s “scheme pension entitlement” for the purposes of calculating any pensions due under Chapter 3 of Part J of these rules (Surviving partners and children’). Scheme pension entitlement is not reduced for the purpose of calculating surviving partners’ and childrens’ pensions where there has been a pension debit following a pension sharing order’.

395.Rule 92(4) makes provision for a reduction in the amount payable on Death-in-Service but only in relation to the alternative calculation for refund of scheme member contributions paid (see rules 65(2) and 67(2)) when this is higher than the salary multiple. Rule 92(4) makes it clear that the reduction is applied in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Act.

396.Rule 92(3) prevents a member whose benefits have been reduced by a pension sharing order from buying back those benefits through the purchase of added years beyond any purchases that they could have made had the order not been made. The general added year restrictions are the “annual MSP pension cap” or “annual office-holder pension cap” (see rules 38(2) and 39(4)) which limit maximum pension entitlement to two-thirds of final salary and the annual purchase limit to 20% of salary or the Annual Allowance (see rule 89(3)(c)). For a pension debit member, these limits will be applied ignoring the pension debit reduction.

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