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Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002

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Resolution of disputes

Appointment of persons to resolve disputes

101.—(1) The Committee must appoint a panel of persons it considers to be suitably qualified for the purpose of resolving disagreements in respect of which an application is made under regulation 102.

(2) For this Chapter the persons appointed under paragraph (1) are “appointed persons”.

(3) An application under regulation 102 may be decided by one or more appointed persons (and references to “the appropriate appointed person”, in relation to any application, are to the appointed person or persons to whom the application in question is referred).

(4) An application must not be referred to a person who has previously been involved in the subject matter of the disagreement.

(5) An appointed person shall hold and vacate office under the terms of his appointment.

(6) But he may resign by notice in writing to the Committee.

(7) The Committee shall determine –

(a)the procedure to be followed by the persons appointed by it when exercising their functions as appointed persons; and

(b)the manner in which those functions are to be exercised.

Right to apply for an appointed person to review a decision

102.—(1) Where there is a disagreement about a matter in relation to the Scheme between a member or an alternative applicant and the Committee, the member or, as the case may be, the alternative applicant may –

(a)apply directly to the appropriate appointed person to decide the disagreement; or

(b)apply to the Committee for it to refer the disagreement to an appointed person for decision.

(2) These persons are alternative applicants –

(a)a widow, widower or surviving dependant of a deceased member or any other person to whom benefits in respect of him may be paid;

(b)a prospective member;

(c)a pension credit member;

(d)a person entitled to a pension credit;

(e)a person who ceased to be a member or to fall within sub-paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) during the period of six months ending with the date of the application; and

(f)in the case of a disagreement relating to the question as to whether a person claiming to be a member or to fall within sub-paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) does so, the claimant.

(3) The application for a decision must set out particulars of the disagreement, including a statement as to its nature with sufficient details to show why the applicant is aggrieved.

(4) An application by –

(a)a member or prospective member;

(b)a person who ceased to be such a person during the period of six months ending with the date of the application; or

(c)a person claiming to be a person within paragraph (a) or (b),

must set out his full name, address, date of birth, his national insurance number (if any) and the name of his employing authority.

(5) An application by –

(a)a person entitled to a pension credit or a pension credit member;

(b)a person who ceased to be such a person or member during the period of six months ending with the date of the application; or

(c)a person claiming to be a person or member within sub-paragraph (a) or (b),

must set out his full name, address and date of birth.

(6) An application by any other person must set out –

(a)his full name, address and date of birth;

(b)his relationship to the member; and

(c)the member’s full name, address, date of birth and national insurance number and the name of his employing authority.

(7) The application must be signed by or on behalf of the applicant.

(8) The application must be accompanied by a copy of any written notification issued under regulation 100.

(9) The application must be made before the end of the period of six months beginning with the relevant date or such further period as the appropriate appointed person considers reasonable .

(10) Where the disagreement relates to a decision under regulation 99, the relevant date is the date notification of it is given under regulation 100.

(11) Otherwise, the relevant date is the date of the act or omission which is the cause of the disagreement or, if there is more than one, the last of them.

Notice of decisions by the appointed person under regulation 102

103.—(1) A decision on the matters raised by an application under regulation 102 must be issued by the appropriate appointed person –

(a)to the applicant; and

(b)to the Committee,

by notice in writing before the expiry of the period of two months beginning with the date the application was received.

(2) But, if no such notice is issued before the expiry of that period, an interim reply must immediately be sent to the persons mentioned in paragraph (1) setting out the reasons for the delay and an expected date for issuing the decision.

(3) A notice under paragraph (1) must include –

(a)a statement of the decision;

(b)reference to any legislation or provisions of the Scheme relied upon;

(c)in a case where the disagreement relates to the exercise of a discretion, a reference to the provisions of the Scheme conferring the discretion;

(d)a reference to the rights of the applicant to refer the disagreement for reconsideration by the Committee under regulation 104, specifying the time within which he may do so; and

(e)a statement that OPAS (the Pensions Advisory Service)(1) is available to assist members and beneficiaries of the Scheme in connection with any difficulty with the Scheme which remains unresolved and the address at which OPAS may be contacted.

Reference of disagreement to the Committee

104.—(1) Where an application about a disagreement has been made under regulation 102, an application may be made to the Committee to reconsider the disagreement by the person who applied under regulation 102.

(2) The application must set out particulars of the grounds on which it is made, including a statement that the applicant under this regulation wishes the disagreement to be reconsidered by the Committee.

(3) An application made by the person who applied under regulation 102 must set out the matters required by paragraph (4), (5) or (6), as the case may be, of that regulation to be included in his application.

(4) The application must be accompanied by a copy of any written notification issued under regulation 100.

(5) Where notice of a decision on the application under regulation 102 has been issued, the application under this regulation must state why the applicant is dissatisfied with that decision and be accompanied by a copy of that notice.

(6) The application must be signed by or on behalf of the person making it.

(7) An application for reconsideration may only be made before the expiry of the period of six months beginning with the relevant date.

(8) Where notice of a decision on the matters raised by the application under regulation 102 has been issued, the relevant date is the date of that notice.

(9) Where –

(a)an interim reply has been sent under regulation 103(2); but

(b)no notice of decision has been issued before the expiry of the period of one month beginning with the date specified in the reply as the expected date for issuing the decision,

the relevant date is the date with which that period expires.

(10) Where no notice of decision has been issued or interim reply has been sent before the expiry of the period of three months beginning with the date the application under regulation 102 was made, the relevant date is the date with which that period expires.

Notice of decisions by the Committee under regulation 104

105.—(1) The Committee must issue its decision on the matters raised by an application under regulation 104 to the parties to the disagreement by notice in writing before the expiry of the period of two months beginning with the date the application was received (but see paragraph (2)).

(2) If no such notice is issued before the expiry of that period, an interim reply must be sent immediately to those parties, setting out the reasons for the delay and an expected date for issuing the decision.

(3) A notice under paragraph (1) must include –

(a)a statement of the decision;

(b)in a case where there has been a decision made under regulation 103, an explanation as to whether and, if so, to what extent that decision is confirmed or replaced;

(c)a reference to any legislation or provisions of the Scheme relied upon;

(d)in a case where the disagreement relates to the exercise of a discretion, a reference to the provisions of the Scheme conferring the discretion;

(e)a statement that OPAS (the Pensions Advisory Service) is available to assist members and beneficiaries of the Scheme in connection with any difficulties with the Scheme which remain unresolved and of the address at which OPAS (the Pensions Advisory Service) may be contacted; and

(f)a statement that the Pensions Ombudsman may investigate and determine any complaint or dispute of fact or law in relation to the Scheme made or referred in accordance with the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 and of the address at which he may be contacted.

Rights of representation

106.—(1) An application under regulation 102 or 104 may be made or continued on behalf of the applicant by a representative nominated by him.

(2) Where a person who has the right to make or has made such an application dies, the application may be made or continued on his behalf by his personal representative.

(3) Where such a person is a minor or is or becomes otherwise incapable of acting for himself, the application may be made or continued on his behalf by a member of his family or some other person suitable to represent him.

(4) Where a representative is nominated before an application is made, the application must specify his full name and address and whether that is to be used for service on the applicant of any documents in connection with the application.

(5) Where a representative’s address is not to be so used, the appropriate appointed person or the Committee, as the case may be, must send to the applicant a copy of a decision under regulation 103(1) or 105(1) or an interim reply under regulation 103(2) or 105(2).

Referral of decisions under regulation 99(1) to the county court

107.  Where an employing authority has either decided or failed to decide such question as is mentioned in regulation 99(1), that question shall be determined by the county court having jurisdiction in the county court division in which such member as is mentioned in regulation 99(1) is employed or was last employed or, where that member is or was last employed in two or more county court divisions, in one of those divisions.

(1)

OPAS Limited is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act 1985 (c. 6): registered number 2459671. The Occupational Pensions Advisory Service’s address for correspondence is 11 Belgrave Road, London, SWIV 1RB

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