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

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Trivial commutation of guaranteed minimum pensions

60.—(1) For the purposes of section 17(1) of the Act (provisions of a scheme relating to commutation), the prescribed circumstances are—

(a)that a guaranteed minimum pension has become payable;

(b)that the aggregate amount of all benefits currently payable to the earner or, as the case may be, the amount of the pension payable to his widow or her widower under all schemes relating to employment with the same employer as the employment in respect of which the guaranteed minimum pension is payable, does not exceed £260 per annum, and

(c)that the Department is satisfied that the scheme provides a reasonable basis for ascertaining the amount to be paid on commutation.

(2) Where, under paragraph (1), a scheme permits an earner to commute benefit in accordance with this regulation it may also permit him or her to commute any prospective widow’s or widower’s benefit payable under the scheme (provided that the aggregate amount of such benefit prospectively payable under all schemes relating to employment with the same employer as the employment in respect of which the benefit is payable does not exceed £260 per annum) and the value of any such widow’s or widower’s benefit shall not be taken into account for the purpose of the limit of £260 per annum mentioned in paragraph (1).

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), any benefit in lump sum form payable to the earner (but excluding for this purpose any benefit by way of a refund of the earner’s contributions to the scheme) shall be treated as the annual amount of benefit in pension form which, in the opinion of the trustees or administrator of the scheme, is its equivalent.

(4) The condition in paragraph (1)(b) shall not apply in cases where the scheme is being wound up or an earner retires before pensionable age, and a contributions equivalent premium has been paid or treated as paid under Part VI, provided that—

(a)for the purposes of paragraph (1)(c) the aggregate amount of benefit which has accrued to the earner at the date of winding up or, as the case may be, of his retirement, increased, where appropriate, in accordance with section 12(2) and (3) of the Act(1) or in either case to the amount that would have been payable at pensionable age, shall be treated as the amount of benefit currently payable to him under the scheme;

(b)in the case of an earner who retires before normal pension age, commutation is not permitted before the date on which benefits become payable to the earner under the scheme’s early retirement provisions;

(c)in cases where the earner is a member of more that one scheme relating to the same employment, all those schemes are being wound up or, as the case may be, he is treated by all those schemes as having retired and, in each case, all those schemes have paid a contributions equivalent premium.


Section 12(3) was amended by paragraph 21(a) of Schedule 3 to the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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