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The Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (NI 19)

53.  The Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 is amended as follows.

54.  After Article 315C there is inserted—

Recovery of excessive contributions in pension-sharing cases

315D.(1) For the purposes of Articles 312, 314 and 315, a pension-sharing transaction shall be taken—

(a)to be a transaction, entered into by the transferor with the transferee, by which the appropriate amount is transferred by the transferor to the transferee; and

(b)to be capable of being a transaction entered into at an undervalue only so far as it is a transfer of so much of the appropriate amount as is recoverable.

(2) For the purposes of Articles 313 to 315, a pension-sharing transaction shall be taken—

(a)to be something(namely a transfer of the appropriate amount to the transferee) done by the transferor; and

(b)to be capable of being a preference given to the transferee only so far as it is a transfer of so much of the appropriate amount as is recoverable.

(3) If on an application under Article 312 or 313 any question arises as to whether, or the extent to which, the appropriate amount in the case of a pension-sharing transaction is recoverable, the question shall be determined in accordance with paragraphs (4) to (8).

(4) The High Court shall first determine the extent (if any) to which the transferor’s rights under the shared arrangement at the time of the transaction appear to have been (whether directly or indirectly) the fruits of contributions (“personal contributions”)—

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

(b)which have at any time been made on the transferor’s behalf,

to the shared arrangement or any other pension arrangement.

(5) Where it appears that those rights were to any extent the fruits of personal contributions, the High Court shall then determine the extent (if any) to which those rights appear to have been the fruits of personal contributions whose making has unfairly prejudiced the transferor’s creditors (“the unfair contributions”).

(6) If it appears to the High Court that the extent to which those rights were the fruits of the unfair contributions is such that the transfer of the appropriate amount could have been made out of rights under the shared arrangement which were not the fruits of the unfair contributions, then the appropriate amount is not recoverable.

(7) If it appears to the High Court that the transfer could not have been wholly so made, then the appropriate amount is recoverable to the extent to which it appears to the Court that the transfer could not have been so made.

(8) In making the determination mentioned in paragraph (5) the High Court shall consider in particular—

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

(b)whether the total amount of any personal contributions represented, at the time the pension-sharing transaction was made, by rights under pension arrangements is an amount which is excessive in view of the transferor’s circumstances when those contributions were made.

(9) In this Article and Articles 315E and 315F—

  • “appropriate amount”, in relation to a pension-sharing transaction, means the appropriate amount in relation to that transaction for the purposes of Article 26(1) of the Welfare Reform Order (creation of pension credits and debits);

  • “pension-sharing transaction” means an order or provision falling within Article 25(1) of the Welfare Reform Order (orders and agreements which activate pension-sharing);

  • “shared arrangement”, in relation to a pension-sharing transaction, means the pension arrangement to which the transaction relates;

  • “transferee”, in relation to a pension-sharing transaction, means the person for whose benefit the transaction is made;

  • “transferor”, in relation to a pension-sharing transaction, means the person to whose rights the transaction relates;

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

Orders under Article 312 or 313 in respect of pension-sharing transactions

315E.(1) This Article and Article 315F apply if the High Court is making an order under Article 312 or 313 in a case where—

(a)the transaction or preference is, or is any part of, a pension-sharing transaction, and

(b)the transferee has rights under a pension arrangement (“the destination arrangement”, which maybe the shared arrangement or any other pension arrangement) that are derived, directly or indirectly, from the pension-sharing transaction.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of Article 312(2) or 313(2), or of Article 315, the order may include provision—

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

(b)adjusting the liabilities of the destination arrangement in respect of the transferee,

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

(d)for the recovery by the person responsible for the destination 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 transferor’s case with any requirement under Article 315F(1) or in giving effect to the order,

(e)for the recovery, from the transferor’s trustee in bankruptcy, by the person responsible for a pension arrangement, of costs incurred by that person in complying in the transferor’s case with any requirement under Article 315F(2) or (3).

(3) In paragraph (2), references to adjusting the liabilities of the destination 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.

(4) The maximum amount which the person responsible for the destination arrangement may be required to pay by the order is the smallest of—

(a)so much of the appropriate amount as, in accordance with Article 315D is recoverable,

(b)so much (if any) of the amount of the unfair contributions (within the meaning given by Article 315D(5)) as is not recoverable by way of an order under Article 315A containing provision such as is mentioned in Article 315B(1)(a), and

(c)the value of the transferee’s rights under the destination arrangement so far as they are derived, directly or indirectly, from the pension-sharing transaction.

(5) If the order requires the person responsible for the destination arrangement to pay an amount (“the restoration amount”) to the transferor’s trustee in bankruptcy it 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) The order—

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

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

Orders under Article 312 or 313 in pension-sharing cases: supplementary

315F.(1) On the transferor’s trustee in bankruptcy making a written request to the person responsible for the destination arrangement, that person shall provide the trustee with such information about—

(a)the arrangement,

(b)the transferee’s rights under it, and

(c)where the destination arrangement is the shared arrangement, the transferor’s rights under it,

as the trustee may reasonably require for, or in connection with, the making of applications under Articles 312 and 313.

(2) Where the shared arrangement is not the destination arrangement, the person responsible for the shared arrangement shall, on the transferor’s trustee in bankruptcy making a written request to that person, provide the trustee with such information about—

(a)the arrangement, and

(b)the transferor’s rights under it, as the trustee may reasonably require for, or in connection with, the making of applications under Articles 312 and 313.

(3) On the transferor’s trustee in bankruptcy making a written request to the person responsible for any intermediate arrangement, that person shall provide the trustee with such information about—

(a)the arrangement, and

(b)the transferee’s rights under it,

as the trustee may reasonably require for, or in connection with, the making of applications under Articles 312 and 313.

(4) In paragraph (3) “intermediate arrangement” means a pension arrangement, other than the shared arrangement or the destination arrangement, in relation to which the following conditions are fulfilled—

(a)there was a time when the transferee had rights under the arrangement that were derived (directly or indirectly) from the pension-sharing transaction, and

(b)the transferee’s rights under the destination arrangement (so far as derived from the pension-sharing transaction) are to any extent derived (directly or indirectly) from the rights mentioned in sub-paragraph (a).

(5) 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 which 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 destination arrangement corresponding to any of those provisions,

applies to the High Court exercising its powers under Article 312 or 313.

(6) Regulations may, for the purposes of Articles 312 to 315, Articles 315D and 315E and this Article, make provision about the calculation and verification of—

(a)any such value as is mentioned in Article 315E(4)(c);

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

(7) The power conferred by paragraph (6) 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.

(8) In Article 315E and this Article, references 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.

(9) In this Article—

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

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;

“regulations” means regulations made by the Department.

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

(11) Regulations under this Article shall be subject to negative resolution..

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