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The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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[F1Requirement for dispute resolution arrangementsN.I.

50.(1) The trustees or managers of an occupational pension scheme must secure that dispute resolution arrangements complying with the requirements of this Article are made and implemented.

(2) Dispute resolution arrangements are arrangements for the resolution of pension disputes.

(3) For this purpose a pension dispute is a dispute which—

(a)is between—

(i)the trustees or managers of a scheme, and

(ii)one or more persons with an interest in the scheme (see Article 50A),

(b)is about matters relating to the scheme, and

(c)is not an exempted dispute (see paragraph (9)).

(4) The dispute resolution arrangements must provide a procedure—

(a)for any of the parties to the dispute mentioned in paragraph (3)(a)(ii) to make an application for a decision to be taken on the matters in dispute ( “an application for the resolution of a pension dispute”), and

(b)for the trustees or managers to take that decision.

(4A) The dispute resolution arrangements may make provision for securing that an application for the resolution of a pension dispute may not be made to the trustees or managers unless—

(a)the matters in dispute have been previously referred to a person of a description specified in the arrangements (“the specified person”) in order for him to consider those matters, and

(b)the specified person has given his decision on those matters,

and for enabling the specified person's decision to be confirmed or replaced by the decision taken by the trustees or managers on the application, after reconsidering those matters.

(5) Where an application for the resolution of a pension dispute is made in accordance with the dispute resolution arrangements, the trustees or managers must—

(a)take the decision required on the matters in dispute within a reasonable period of the receipt of the application by them, and

(b)notify the applicant of the decision within a reasonable period of it having been taken.

(5A) In a case where a reference is made to the specified person in accordance with provision made under paragraph (4A), paragraph (5) applies in relation to the specified person as it applies in relation to the trustees or managers in a case where an application for the resolution of a pension dispute is made to them.

(6) The procedure provided for by the dispute resolution arrangements in pursuance of paragraph ( 4 ) must include the provision required by Article 50B.

(7) Dispute resolution arrangements under paragraph (1) must, in the case of existing schemes, have effect on and after the date of the coming into operation of this Article in relation to applications made on or after that date.

(8) This Article does not apply in relation to an occupational pension scheme if—

(a)every member of the scheme is a trustee of the scheme,

(b)the scheme has no more than one member, or

(c)the scheme is of a prescribed description.

(9) For the purposes of this Article a dispute is an exempted dispute if—

(a)proceedings in respect of it have been commenced in any court or tribunal,

(b)the Pensions Ombudsman has commenced an investigation in respect of it as a result of a complaint made or a dispute referred to him, or

(c)it is of a prescribed description.

(10) If, in the case of an occupational pension scheme, the dispute resolution arrangements required by this Article to be made—

(a)have not been made, or

(b)are not being implemented,

Article 10 applies to any of the trustees or managers who have failed to take all reasonable steps to secure that such arrangements are made or implemented.]

F1Arts. 50, 50A, 50B substituted (12.3.2008 for specified purposes, otherwise 6.4.2008) for art. 50 by Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), arts. 1(2), 250 (as amended (11.2.2008) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 1), s. 14) (with savings in art. 285(5) and S.R. 2008/116, reg. 5(1)(2)); S.R. 2008/104, art. 2

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