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Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2012

Section 23: Payment of surplus to employer: transitional power to amend scheme

Section 23 amends Article 228 of the 2005 Order. Article 228 provided trustees with a transitional power to confirm or amend powers in scheme rules to make payments to the employer in the light of changes to the taxation regime for pension schemes, and to the requirements relating to payments of surplus to employers as stated in Article 37 of the 1995 Order.

Article 228 came into operation from 6th April 2006. It specifically allowed trustees to pass a resolution to confirm or amend powers in their scheme’s rules to make payments to the employer, or allow them to cease to be exercisable. Trustees were required to pass a resolution within five years of the commencement of the provision (before 6th April 2011) and to satisfy prescribed requirements for notifying scheme members.

This section ensures that Article 228 does not apply to payments which trustees can make without having to satisfy the general requirements relating to payments of surplus in Article 37 of the 1995 Order. It extends the transitional period during which Article 228 will apply to 6th April 2016. This will allow trustees more time to review any powers in their scheme’s rules to make payments to the employer, decide how such powers should be exercised in the future, and take whatever action they consider is necessary under Article 228.

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