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The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005

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Consequences of freezing orderN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

20.—(1) If a freezing order is made in relation to a scheme any action taken in contravention of the order is void except to the extent that the action is validated by an order under Article 22.

(2) A freezing order in relation to a scheme does not prevent any increase in a benefit which is an increase which would otherwise accrue in accordance with the scheme or any statutory provision during the period for which the order has effect, unless the order contains a direction to the contrary.

(3) A freezing order in relation to a scheme does not prevent the scheme being wound up in pursuance of an order under Article 11 of the 1995 Order (power to wind up occupational pension schemes).

(4) If a freezing order contains a direction under Article 19(4)(b) that no further contributions, or no further specified contributions, are to be paid towards a scheme during the period for which the order has effect—

(a)any contributions which are the subject of the direction and which would otherwise be due to be paid towards the scheme during that period are to be treated as if they do not fall due, and

(b)any obligation to pay those contributions (including any obligation under Article 49(8) of the 1995 Order to pay amounts deducted corresponding to such contributions) is to be treated as if it does not arise.

(5) If a freezing order contains a direction under Article 19(4)(f) (no transfers or discharge of member's rights) it does not prevent—

(a)giving effect to a pension sharing order or provision, or

(b)giving effect to a pension earmarking order in a case where—

(i)the order requires a payment to be made if a payment in respect of any benefits under the scheme becomes due to a person, and

(ii)a direction under Article 19(4)(d) or (e) does not prevent the payment becoming due.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5)—

  • “pension sharing order or provision” means an order or provision falling within Article 25(1) of the 1999 Order (activation of pension sharing);

  • “pension earmarking order” means—

    (a)

    an order under Article 25 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (NI 15) (financial provision orders in connection with divorce etc.) so far as it includes provision made by virtue of Article 27B or 27C of that Order (powers to include provision about pensions),

    (aa)

    [F1 an order under Part 1 (financial provision in connection with dissolution, nullity or separation) of Schedule 15 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (financial relief in the High Court or a county court etc. : Northern Ireland) so far as it includes provision made by virtue of paragraphs 20 and 21 of Part 5 of that Schedule (powers to include provisions about pensions), ]

    (b)

    an order under section 23 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (c. 18) so far as it includes provision made by virtue of section 25B or 25C of that Act (powers in England and Wales corresponding to those mentioned in paragraph (a)),F1. . .

    (c)

    an order under section 12A(2) or (3) of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 (c. 37) (powers in relation to pension lump sums when making a capital sum order)[F1, or].

    (d)

    [F1 an order under Part 1 (financial provision in connection with dissolution, nullity or separation) of Schedule 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (financial relief in the High Court or a county court etc. ) so far as it includes provision made by virtue of paragraphs 25 and 26 of Part 6 of that Schedule (powers to include provisions about pensions). ]

(7) Regulations may modify any provisions of—

[F2(a)Chapter 1 of Part 4ZA of the Pension Schemes Act (transfer rights: general), or

(b)Chapter 2 of that Part (early leavers: cash transfer sums and contribution refunds),]

in their application to an occupational pension scheme in relation to which a freezing order is made containing a direction under Article 19(4)(f), (g) or (h) (no transfers etc. in respect of, member's rights or refunds of contributions etc. from the scheme).

(8) Disregarding paragraph (1), if a freezing order made in relation to a scheme is not complied with, Article 10 of the 1995 Order (civil penalties) applies to any trustee or manager of the scheme who has failed to take all reasonable steps to secure compliance.

(9) Paragraph (8) does not apply in the case of non-compliance with a direction under Article 19(4)(c) (direction that certain deducted contributions are to be repaid by the employer).

(10) In such a case, Article 10 of the 1995 Order (civil penalties) applies to an employer who, without reasonable excuse, fails to repay an amount as required by the direction.

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