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The Occupational Pension Schemes (Contracting-out) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Notices by employers of intended election

3.—(1) A notice of intention to make an election with a view to the issue of a contracting-out certificate shall be given by the employer, in the manner specified in paragraph (3), to—

(a)the earners in respect of whose employment the election is proposed to be made, and those (if any) in that employment in relation to whom the employer is not electing that the employment shall be treated as contracted out;

(b)the trustees and administrator of the scheme to which the election is to relate;

(c)where there is a policy of insurance or annuity contract as a means of securing the protected rights, guaranteed minimum pensions or any benefits arising in respect of section 5(2B) rights to be payable under the scheme, the insurance company or friendly society concerned, and

(d)all independent trade unions recognised in relation to the earners concerned.

(2) Notices given under this regulation shall be in writing and shall—

(a)specify the scheme and the employments concerned and, if the election is not intended to be in relation to all earners in those employments, the categories or descriptions of the earners to be so affected;

(b)specify the date from which it is intended that the contracting-out certificate shall have effect;

(c)describe (whether or not by reference to another document) the benefits payable under the scheme to, and the contributions (if any) payable to the scheme by, the earners to be covered by the election, and the changes (if any) which would be made to those benefits and contributions if the employment were contracted out;

(d)specify the date of expiry of the notice in accordance with paragraphs (4) and (5);

(e)specify the name and business address of the person to whom representations may be made with respect to the matters included in the notice;

(f)contain a statement that—

(i)such representations may also be made to the Department;

(ii)the Department may defer its determination to enable the election to be further considered in the light of representations made by or on behalf of the persons to whom the notice is given;

(iii)the Department has power to refuse to give effect to the election if it is not satisfied that the employer has undertaken consultations about the matters covered by the notice with all independent trade unions recognised in relation to the earners concerned, and

(g)explain (whether or not by reference to another document)—

(i)whether the employment would be contracted out by reference to a salary related or money purchase contracted-out scheme and how benefits would accrue to a member under the scheme if the employment were contracted out;

(ii)how, if the employment were contracted out, the additional pensions of state retirement pensions and widows' and widowers' benefits payable to or in respect of the earners in that employment under the Contributions and Benefits Act, and the rates at which contributions payable by those earners under Part I of that Act, would be affected;

(iii)where further information about the scheme, state retirement pensions and the benefits mentioned in head (ii) can be obtained.

(3) A notice under this regulation shall be given—

(a)to any earner concerned by—

(i)sending or delivering it to him, or

(ii)exhibiting it conspicuously at the place of work or employment so that it may be read conveniently by him and by drawing his attention to it in writing;

(b)to any other person, by sending or delivering it to that person.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), a notice may specify a date of expiry which is not earlier than the date one month after that on which the notice is given.

(5) If any independent trade union recognised in relation to the earners concerned does not assent to the period of notice specified in accordance with paragraph (4), a notice must specify a date of expiry which is not earlier than the date 3 months after that on which the notice is given.

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