Explanatory Memorandum

Public Service Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2014

2014 CHAPTER 2

11 March 2014

Commentary on Sections


Section 14: Information about benefits

Section 14 provides for scheme regulations to require scheme managers (for defined benefit schemes under section 1) to provide active pension scheme members with benefit information statements in accordance with the requirements of this section.

Subsection (2) sets out the matters that must be included in benefit information statements. Such statements would need to include details of the pension benefits that the person had earned in the scheme and any other information specified in a Department of Finance and Personnel directions.

Subsections (2)(b), (3) and (6) provide for Department of Finance and Personnel directions to specify requirements as to the information to be included, how that information is presented, and how that information is to be provided. The purpose of these directions is to ensure members of all pension schemes are provided with clear and comprehensive information to enable them to understand their pension benefits.

Subsections (4) and (5) set out when such statements must be provided.

Under section 17 of and Schedule 4 to the Act the Pensions Regulator has a role in overseeing the provision of benefit information statements. Benefit information statements are listed under paragraph 14 of Schedule 4 as a matter on which the Regulator must issue a code of practice. Additionally, they are also matters on which the Regulator can take enforcement action should schemes fail to comply with their duties.

This section also applies to new schemes set up for other public bodies (see section 31(1) (new public body pension schemes)).