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The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005

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Codes of practice

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85.—(1) The Regulator may issue codes of practice—

(a)containing practical guidance in relation to the exercise of functions under the pensions legislation, and

(b)regarding the standards of conduct and practice expected from those who exercise such functions.

(2) The Regulator must issue one or more such codes of practice relating to the following matters—

(a)what constitutes a “reasonable” period for the purposes of any provision of the pensions legislation (other than any statutory provision contained in or made by virtue of Part III) which requires any action to be taken within such a period;

(b)the discharge of the duty imposed by Article 64 (duty to notify Regulator of certain events);

(c)the discharge of the duty imposed by Article 65 (duty to report breaches of the law);

(d)the discharge of duties imposed on trustees or managers of occupational pension schemes by, or by virtue of, Part IV (scheme funding);

(e)the discharge of the duties imposed by Articles 218 and 219 (member-nominated trustees and directors);

(f)the obligations imposed by Articles 224 and 225 (requirements for knowledge and understanding: individual and corporate trustees);

(g)the discharge of the duty imposed by Article 49(9)(b) of the 1995 Order (duty of trustees or managers of occupational pension schemes to report material failures by employers to pay contributions deducted from employee’s earnings timeously);

(h)the discharge of the duties imposed by Articles 67 to 67I of that Order (the subsisting rights provisions);

(i)the discharge of the duty imposed by Article 86(1) of that Order (duty of trustees or managers of money purchase schemes to report failures to pay employer contributions etc. timeously);

(j)the discharge of the duty imposed by section 107A(7A) of the Pension Schemes Act (duty of trustees or managers of personal pension schemes to report material failures to pay employer contributions timeously);

(k)such other matters as are prescribed for the purposes of this Article.

(3) The Regulator may from time to time revise the whole or any part of a code of practice issued under this Article and issue that revised code.

(4) Subject to Article 9(3)(a) and (8) (power for improvement notice to direct that person complies with code of practice and civil penalties for failure to comply), a failure on the part of any person to observe any provision of a code of practice does not of itself render that person liable to any legal proceedings.

(5) A code of practice issued under this Article is admissible in evidence in any legal proceedings and, if any provision of such a code appears to the court or tribunal concerned to be relevant to any question arising in the proceedings, it must be taken into account in determining that question.

(6) In this Article—

“legal proceedings” includes proceedings of the Pensions Ombudsman, proceedings of the PPF Ombudsman and proceedings of the Board under Article 189 or 190; and

“the pensions legislation” means any statutory provision contained in or made by virtue of—

(a)

the Pension Schemes Act,

(b)

Part II of the 1995 Order, other than Articles 62 to 66A of that Order (equal treatment),

(c)

Part II or Article 30 of the 1999 Order, or

(d)

this Order.

(7) Articles 86 and 87 make provision about the procedure to be followed when a code of practice is issued or revoked.

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