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The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, Cross Heading: General is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 21 February 2020. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Part II Crossheading General:

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Order (including any effects on those provisions):

GeneralN.I.

Breach of regulationsN.I.

113.—(1) Regulations made by virtue of any provisions of this Part may provide for the contravention of any provision contained in any such regulations to be an offence under this Part and for the recovery on summary conviction for any such offence of a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2) An offence under any provision of the regulations may be charged by reference to any day or longer period of time; and a person may be convicted of a second or subsequent offence under such a provision by reference to any period of time following the preceding conviction of the offence.

(3) Where by reason of the contravention of any provision contained in regulations made by virtue of this Part—

(a)a person is convicted of an offence under this Part, or

(b)a person pays a penalty under Article 10,

then, in respect of that contravention, he shall not, in a case within sub-paragraph (a), be liable to pay such a penalty or, in a case within sub-paragraph (b), be convicted of such an offence.

Overriding requirementsN.I.

114.—(1) Where any provision mentioned in paragraph (2) conflicts with the provisions of an occupational pension scheme—

(a)the provision mentioned in paragraph (2), to the extent that it conflicts, overrides the provisions of the scheme, and

(b)the scheme has effect with such modifications as may be required in consequence of sub-paragraph (a).

(2) The provisions referred to in paragraph (1) are those of—

(a)this Part,

(b)any subordinate legislation made or having effect as if made under this Part,F1. . .

F2(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Powers to modify this PartN.I.

115.—(1) Regulations may modify any provisions of this Part, in their application—

(a)to a trust scheme which applies to earners in employments under different employers,

(b)to a trust scheme of which there are no members who are in pensionable service under the scheme, or

(c)to any case where a partnership is the employer, or one of the employers, in relation to a trust scheme.

(2) Regulations may provide for[F3 some or all of the provisions of Articles 22[F4 to 26]], and Article 114 (so far as it applies to those Articles), not to apply in relation to a trust scheme falling within a prescribed class or description.

Para. (3) rep. by 2005 NI 1

Calculations, etc. under regulations: sub-delegationN.I.

116.  Regulations made by virtue of ArticleF5. . . [F6 73B(4)(a)] or 75 may provide for the values of the assets and the amounts of the liabilities there mentioned to be calculated and verified in accordance with guidance[F7 prepared and from time to time revised by a prescribed body.]

Consultations about regulationsN.I.

117.—(1) Before the Department makes any regulations by virtue of this Part, It must consult such persons as it considers appropriate.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply—

(a)to regulations made for the purpose only of consolidating other regulations revoked by them,

(b)to regulations in the case of which the Department considers consultation inexpedient because of urgency,

(c)to regulations made before the end of the period of six months beginning with the coming into operation of the provision of this Part by virtue of which the regulations are made,

(d)to regulations which—

(i)state that they are consequential upon a specified enactment, and

(ii)are made before the end of the period of six months beginning with the coming into operation of that enactment, or

(e)to regulations making only provision corresponding to provision contained in regulations made by the Secretary of State in relation to Great Britain.

Crown applicationN.I.

118.—(1) This Part applies to an occupational pension scheme managed by or on behalf of the Crown as it applies to other occupational pension schemes; and, accordingly, references in this Part to a person in his capacity as a trustee or manager of an occupational pension scheme include the Crown, or a person acting on behalf of the Crown, in that capacity.

(2) References in this Part to a person in his capacity as employer in relation to an occupational pension scheme include the Crown, or a person acting on behalf of the Crown, in that capacity.

(3) This Article does not apply to any provision made by or under this Part under which a person may be prosecuted for an offence; but such a provision applies to persons in the public service of the Crown as it applies to other persons.

(4) This Article does not apply to Article 42 to 46 (but see the amendment of Article 79 (1) of the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1976F8 in Schedule 1).

(5) Nothing in this Part applies to Her Majesty in Her private capacity (within the meaning of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947F9).

(6) Subject to paragraphs (1) to (5), this Part binds the Crown to the full extent authorised by the constitutional laws of Northern Ireland.

Art. 119—Amendments

“Connected” and “associated” personsN.I.

120.—(1) Articles 4 and 7 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989F10 (associated and connected persons) apply for the purposes of the provisions of this Order listed in paragraph (2) as they apply for the purposes of any provision of that Order.

(2) The provisions referred to in paragraph (1) are—

(a)Article 23(3)(b)

(b)Articles 27 and 28,

(c)Article 40,

but in the case of Article 40 the provisions mentioned in paragraph (1) shall apply for those purposes with any prescribed modifications.

Interpretation of Part IIN.I.

121.—(1) In this Part—

  • “active member”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means a person who is in pensionable service under the scheme,

  • “the actuary” and “the auditor”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, have the meanings given by Article 47,

  • [F11“the Authority” means the Pensions Regulator;]

  • [F12“civil partnership status” in relation to a person, means whether that person has previously formed a civil partnership and, if so, whether that civil partnership has ended,]

  • “the Compensation Board” means the Pensions Compensation Board.

  • “the compensation provisions” has the meaning given by Article 79(3),

  • “the Crown” means the Crown in right of Her Majesty's government in Northern Ireland or in right of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom;

  • “deferred member”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means a person (other than an active or pensioner member) who has accrued rights under the scheme,

  • “employer”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means the employer of persons in the description or category of employment to which the scheme in question relates (but see Article 122(3)),

  • “equal treatment rule” has the meaning given by Article 62,

  • “firm” means a body corporate or a partnership,

  • “fund manager”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means a person who manages the investments held for the purposes of the scheme,

  • “government department” means a Northern Ireland department or a department of the government of the United Kingdom;

  • “independent trustee” has the meaning given by Article 23(3),

  • “managers”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme other than a trust scheme, means the persons responsible for the management of the scheme,

  • “member”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means any active, deferred[F13, pensioner or pension credit] member (but see Article 122(4)),

  • F14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • F15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • F16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • “normal pension age” has the meaning given by section 175 of the Pension Schemes Act,

  • “payment schedule” has the meaning given by Article 85(2),

  • [F13“pension credit” means a credit under Article 26(1)(b) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 or under section 29(1)(b) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999,

  • “pension credit member”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means a person who has rights under the scheme which are attributable (directly or indirectly) to a pension credit,

  • “pension credit rights”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means rights to future benefits under the scheme which are attributable (directly or indirectly) to a pension credit,]

  • “pensionable service”, in relation to a member of an occupational pension scheme, means service in any description or category of employment to which the scheme relates which qualifies the member (on the assumption that it continues for the appropriate period) for pension or other benefits under the scheme,

  • “pensioner member”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means a person who, in respect of his pensionable service under the scheme or by reason of transfer credits, is entitled to the present payment of pension or other benefitsF17. . . ,

  • “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations,

  • “professional adviser”, in relation to a scheme, has the meaning given by Article 47,

  • “public service pension scheme” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Pension Schemes Act,

  • “resources”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means the funds out of which the benefits provided by the scheme are payable from time to time, including the proceeds of any policy of insurance taken out, or annuity contract entered into, for the purposes of the scheme,

  • “the Taxes Act 1988” means the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988F18,

  • “transfer credits” means rights allowed to a member under the rules of an occupational pension scheme by reference to

    (a)

    [F19a transfer to the scheme of, or transfer payment to the trustees or managers of the scheme in respect of, any of his rights (including transfer credits allowed) under another occupational pension scheme or a personal pension scheme, other than pension credit rights, or

    (b)

    a cash transfer sum paid under [F20Chapter 2 of Part 4ZA of the Pension Schemes Act (transfers and contribution refunds) ] in respect of him, to the trustees or managers of the scheme,]

  • “trustees or managers”, in relation to an occupational pension scheme, means—

    (a)

    in the case of a trust scheme, the trustees of the scheme, and

    (b)

    in any other case, the managers of the scheme, “trust scheme” means an occupational pension scheme established under a trust

(2) For the purposes of this Part—

(a)the accrued rights of a member of an occupational pension scheme at any time are the rights which have accrued to or in respect of him at that time to future benefits under the scheme, and

(b)at any time when the pensionable service of a member of an occupational pension scheme is continuing, his accrued rights are to be determined as if he had opted, immediately before that time, to terminate that service,

and references to accrued pension or accrued benefits are to be interpreted accordingly.

[F13(2A) In paragraph (2)(a), the reference to rights which have accrued to or in respect of the member does not include any rights which are pension credit rights.]

(3) In determining what is “pensionable service” for the purposes of this Part—

(a)service notionally attributable for any purpose of the scheme is to be disregarded, and

(b)no account is to be taken of any rules of the scheme by which a period of service can be treated for any purpose as being longer or shorter than it actually is[F13 but, in its application for the purposes of Article 51, sub‐paragraph (b) does not affect the operation of any rules of the scheme by virtue of which a period of service is to be rounded up or down by a period of less than a month].

[F21(4) In a case of the winding-up of an occupational pension scheme in pursuance of an order of the Authority under Article 11 or of an order of a court, the winding-up shall (subject to paragraph (8)[F22 and to Articles 24, 138 and 198 of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005]) be taken for the purposes of this Part to begin—

(a)if the order provides for a time to be the time when the winding-up begins, at that time, and

(b)in any other case, at the time when the order comes into force.

(5) In a case of the winding-up of an occupational pension scheme in accordance with a requirement or power contained in the rules of the scheme, the winding-up shall (subject to paragraphs (6) to (8)[F23 and to Articles 138 and 198 of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005]) be taken for the purposes of this Part to begin—

(a)at the time (if any) which under those rules is the time when the winding-up begins, and

(b)if sub-paragraph (a) does not apply, at the earliest time which is a time fixed by the trustees or managers as the time from which steps for the purposes of the winding-up are to be taken.

(6) Paragraph (5) shall not require a winding-up of a scheme to be treated as having begun at any time before the end of any period during which effect is being given—

(a)to a determination under Article 38 that the scheme is not for the time being to be wound up, or

(b)to a determination in accordance with the rules of the scheme to postpone the commencement of a winding-up.

(7) In paragraph (5)(b) the reference to the trustees or managers of the scheme shall have effect in relation to any scheme the rules of which provide for a determination that the scheme is to be wound up to be made by persons other than the trustees or managers as including a reference to those other persons.

(8) Paragraphs (4) to (7) do not apply for such purposes as may be prescribed.]

F12SR 2005/434

F14Art. 121(1): definition of "member-nominated director" repealed (6.4.2006) by Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), arts. 1(2), 291, Sch. 11; S.R. 2006/95, art. 2(c), Sch. Pt. 3

F15Art. 121(1): definition of "member-nominated trustee" repealed (6.4.2006) by Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), arts. 1(2), 291, Sch. 11; S.R. 2006/95, art. 2(c), Sch. Pt. 3

F16Definition of "minimum funding requirement" in art. 121(1) repealed (6.4.2007) by Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), arts. 1(2), 291, Sch. 11; S.R. 2006/352, art. 2(5), Sch. Pt. 2 (with art. 3)

F17Words in the definition of "pensioner member" in art. 121(1) omitted by virtue of (6.4.2006) by Taxation of Pension Schemes (Consequential Amendments) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/745), art. 11(7)

F19Art. 121(1): Words in definition of "transfer credits" substituted (6.4.2006) by Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), arts. 1(2), 290(1), Sch. 10 para. 63(2); S.R. 2005/543, art. 2(6), Sch. Pt. 6

F20Words in art. 121(1) substituted (6.4.2015) by Pension Schemes Act 2015 (c. 8), s. 89(3)(b), Sch. 4 para. 78 (with s. 87)

Article 121: supplementaryN.I.

122.—(1) For the purposes of this Part, an occupational pension scheme is salary related if—

(a)the scheme is not a money purchase scheme, and

(b)the scheme does not fall within a prescribed class or description,

and “salary related trust scheme” is to be read accordingly.

(2) Regulations may apply this Part with prescribed modifications to occupational pension schemes—

(a)which are not money purchase schemes, but

(b)where some of the benefits that may be provided are money purchase benefits.

(3) Regulations may, in relation to occupational pension schemes, extend for the purposes of this Part the meaning of “employer” to includeF24 persons who have been the employer in relation to the schemeF24.

(4) For any of the purposes of this Part, regulations may in relation to occupational pension schemes—

(a)extend or restrict the meaning of “member”,

(b)determine who is to be treated as a prospective member, and

(c)determine the times at which a person is to be treated as becoming, or as ceasing to be, a member or prospective member.

F24prosp. insertion by 2005 NI 1

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