Search Legislation

The Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Excessive pension contributions made by persons who have become bankrupt

15.  For Articles 315A to 315C of the[1989 NI 19.] Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 there shall be substituted—

Recovery of excessive pension contributions

315A.(1) Where an individual who is adjudged bankrupt—

(a)has rights under an approved pension arrangement, or

(b)has excluded rights under an unapproved pension arrangement,

the trustee of the bankrupt’s estate may apply to the High Court for an order under this Article.

(2) If the High Court is satisfied—

(a)that the rights under the arrangement are to any extent, and whether directly or indirectly, the fruits of relevant contributions, and

(b)that the making of any of the relevant contributions (“the excessive contributions”) has unfairly prejudiced the individual’s creditors,

the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for restoring the position to what it would have been had the excessive contributions not been made.

(3) Paragraph (4) applies where the High Court is satisfied that the value of the rights under the arrangement is, as a result of rights of the individual under the arrangement or any other pension arrangement having at any time become subject to a debit under Article 26(1)(a) of the Welfare Reform Order (debits giving effect to pension-sharing), less than it would otherwise have been.

(4) Where this paragraph applies—

(a)any relevant contributions which were represented by the rights which became subject to the debit shall, for the purposes of paragraph (2), be taken to be contributions of which the rights under the arrangement are the fruits, and

(b)where the relevant contributions represented by the rights under the arrangement (including those so represented by virtue of sub-paragraph (a)) are not all excessive contributions, relevant contributions which are represented by the rights under the arrangement otherwise than by virtue of sub-paragraph (a) shall be treated as excessive contributions before any which are so represented by virtue of that sub-paragraph.

(5) In paragraphs (2) to (4) “relevant contributions” means contributions to the arrangement or any other pension arrangement—

(a)which the individual has at any time made on his own behalf, or

(b)which have at any time been made on his behalf.

(6) The High Court shall, in determining whether it is satisfied under paragraph (2)(b), consider in particular—

(a)whether any of the contributions were made for the purpose of putting assets beyond the reach of the individual’s creditors or any of them, and

(b)whether the total amount of any contributions—

(i)made by or on behalf of the individual to pension arrangements, and

(ii)represented (whether directly or indirectly) by rights under approved pension arrangements or excluded rights under unapproved pension arrangements,

is an amount which is excessive in view of the individual’s circumstances when those contributions were made.

(7) For the purposes of this Article and Articles 315B and 315C (“the recovery provisions”), rights of an individual under an unapproved pension arrangement are excluded rights if they are rights which are excluded from his estate by virtue of regulations under Article 13 of the Welfare Reform Order.

(8) In the recovery provisions—

  • “approved pension arrangement” has the same meaning as in Article 12 of the Welfare Reform Order,

  • “unapproved pension arrangement” has the same meaning as in Article 13 of that Order.

Orders under Article 315A

315B.(1) Without prejudice to the generality of Article 315A(2), an order under Article 315A may include provision—

(a)requiring the person responsible for the arrangement to pay an amount to the individual’s trustee in bankruptcy,

(b)adjusting the liabilities of the arrangement in respect of the individual,

(c)adjusting any liabilities of the arrangement in respect of any other person that derive, directly or indirectly, from rights of the individual under the arrangement,

(d)for the recovery by the person responsible for the arrangement (whether by deduction from any amount which that person is ordered to pay or otherwise) of costs incurred by that person in complying in the bankrupt’s case with any requirement under Article 315C(1) or in giving effect to the order.

(2) In paragraph (1), references to adjusting the liabilities of the arrangement in respect of a person include (in particular) reducing the amount of any benefit or future benefit to which that person is entitled under the arrangement.

(3) In paragraph (1)(c), the reference to liabilities of the arrangement does not include liabilities in respect of a person which result from giving effect to an order or provision falling within Article 25(1) of the Welfare Reform Order (pension sharing orders and agreements).

(4) The maximum amount which the person responsible for an arrangement may be required to pay by an order under Article 315A is the lesser of—

(a)the amount of the excessive contributions, and

(b)the value of the individual’s rights under the arrangement (if the arrangement is an approved pension arrangement) or of his excluded rights under the arrangement (if the arrangement is an unapproved pension arrangement).

(5) An order under Article 315A which requires the person responsible for an arrangement to pay an amount (“the restoration amount”) to the individual’s trustee in bankruptcy must provide for the liabilities of the arrangement to be correspondingly reduced.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5), liabilities are correspondingly reduced if the difference between—

(a)the amount of the liabilities immediately before the reduction, and

(b)the amount of the liabilities immediately after the reduction,

is equal to the restoration amount.

(7) An order under Article 315A in respect of an arrangement—

(a)shall be binding on the person responsible for the arrangement, and

(b)overrides provisions of the arrangement to the extent that they conflict with the provisions of the order.

Orders under Article 315A: supplementary

315C.(1) The person responsible for—

(a)an approved pension arrangement under which a bankrupt has rights,

(b)an unapproved pension arrangement under which a bankrupt has excluded rights, or

(c)a pension arrangement under which a bankrupt has at any time had rights,

shall, on the bankrupt’s trustee in bankruptcy making a written request, provide the trustee with such information about the arrangement and rights as the trustee may reasonably require for, or in connection with, the making of applications under Article 315A.

(2) Nothing in—

(a)any provision of section 155 of the[1993 c. 49.] Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 or Article 89 of the[1995 NI 22.] Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (which prevent assignment and the making of orders that restrain a person from receiving anything which he is prevented from assigning),

(b)any statutory provision (whether passed or made before or after the making of the Welfare Reform Order) corresponding to any of the provisions mentioned in sub-paragraph (a), or

(c)any provision of the arrangement in question corresponding to any of those provisions,

applies to the High Court exercising its powers under Article 315A.

(3) Where any sum is required by an order under Article 315A to be paid to the trustee in bankruptcy, that sum shall be comprised in the bankrupt’s estate.

(4) Regulations may, for the purposes of the recovery provisions, make provision about the calculation and verification of—

(a)any such value as is mentioned in Article 315B(4)(b);

(b)any such amounts as are mentioned in Article 315B(6)(a) and (b).

(5) The power conferred by paragraph (4) includes power to provide for calculation or verification—

(a)in such manner as may, in the particular case, be approved by a prescribed person; or

(b)in accordance with guidance—

(i)from time to time prepared by a prescribed person, and

(ii)approved by the Department.

(6) References in the recovery provisions to the person responsible for a pension arrangement are to—

(a)the trustees, managers or provider of the arrangement, or

(b)the person having functions in relation to the arrangement corresponding to those of a trustee, manager or provider.

(7) In this Article and Articles 315A and 315B—

“the Department” means the Department of Health and Social Services;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;

“the recovery provisions” means this Article and Articles 315A and 315B;

“regulations” means regulations made by the Department;

“the Welfare Reform Order” means the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

(8) Regulations under the recovery provisions may contain such incidental, supplemental and transitional provisions as appear to the Department necessary or expedient.

(9) Regulations under the recovery provisions shall be subject to negative resolution..

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Order as a PDF

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources