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Pension Schemes Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 6: Treatment of a scheme as two or more separate schemes

This section requires regulations to be made for a pension scheme that does not fit within any of the categories set out in the sections above (it is not a defined benefits, defined contributions or shared risk scheme) to be treated as if it were two or more separate schemes, each then fitting within a category, for the purposes of these definitions and other specified legislation.

An example of such a scenario would be where an existing scheme has a defined benefits section which is not open to new members, and a defined contributions section for new members.  This type of scheme would not be defined as a shared risk scheme, since, though there are some elements of a pensions promise, the promise is not available to all members. Instead, regulations must be made providing for the scheme to be treated as if it were two schemes for the purpose of the categorisation – in the example given above, it is likely that the power would be used to treat the scheme as if it were a defined benefits scheme and a defined contributions scheme.

The section also enables regulations to be made to provide for other circumstances in which a scheme can be treated as two or more schemes, each fitting within one of the scheme categories.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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