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

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Refund of a contributions equivalent premium

54.—(1) The Department shall refund a contributions equivalent premium if—

(a)that premium was paid in error;

(b)it is satisfied that the employment to which that premium relates will be linked with another employment in the circumstances set out in regulation 43(2) and (3);

(c)it is satisfied that the earner in respect of whom that premium was paid has entered into employment which is contracted-out employment by reference to the same contracted-out scheme as that by reference to which the employment to which that premium relates was contracted-out employment, and that for the purpose of calculating the earner’s accrued rights under the scheme the two employments will be linked;

(d)it is satisfied that a transfer of the earner’s accrued rights will be made in accordance with regulations under section 16 (transfer of accrued rights) or under section 8C (transfer, commutation etc.) of the Act, or

(e)the scheme is one under which a member may qualify for benefits by virtue of service either in employed earner’s employment or as a self-employed earner (within the meaning of section 2 of the Contributions and Benefits Act) or both and the Department is satisfied that the earner in respect of whom that premium was paid has completed a period of membership of the scheme as a self-employed earner which, when aggregated with his service in employed earner’s employment, amounts to not less than 2 years,

and, where a contributions equivalent premium is refunded under this paragraph the earner’s accrued rights under the scheme, which were extinguished by payment of the premium, shall be restored.

(2) A refund under paragraph (1) shall only be made if an application is made in writing, in such form as the Department may reasonably require for the purpose.

(3) In paragraph (1)(a) “error” means an error which—

(a)is made at the time of payment, and

(b)relates to some present or past matter.

(4) Where—

(a)an earner has been employed concurrently in two or more contracted-out employments, on the termination of one or more of which, a contributions equivalent premium has been paid, and

(b)the aggregate amount of any such payments has the effect that the National Insurance Fund has gained, by reference to any employment in respect of which such a payment has been made, a greater amount than it would have gained from Class 1 contributions under the Contributions and Benefits Act if those employments had not been contracted out,

there shall be paid out of the National Insurance Fund to the earner (or his estate) an amount which bears the same proportion to the amount of the excess as the reduction under paragraph (a) of subsection (1A) of section 37 of the Act(1) (reduced rates of Class 1 contributions for earners in contracted-out employment), in the normal percentage of primary Class 1 contributions bears to the total reduction under that subsection in the total normal percentage of Class 1 contributions.

(5) The Department shall refund a contributions equivalent premium if it is satisfied that—

(a)where that premium was paid in the circumstances mentioned in section 51(2A)(a), (b), (d) or (e) of the Act, the person in respect of whom it was paid has died, without leaving a widow or widower, on or before the later of the days first mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) respectively of regulation 52(1), or

(b)where that premium was paid in the circumstances mentioned in section 51(2A)(c) of the Act, there are no accrued rights to guaranteed minimum pensions or section 5(2B) rights under the scheme in question in respect of the widow or widower in question.


Section 37(1A) was substituted by Article 134(2) of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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