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These Regulations make various amendments to the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 (the “principal Regulations”) to have effect from 1st June 2005. The main changes are as follows –
— regulation 5 amends regulation 18 of the principal Regulations to reduce the total membership required to become entitled to benefits from two years to three months;
— regulation 7 amends regulation 30 of the principal Regulations to provide that where a member becomes entitled to a second ill-health pension and grant (unless by virtue of being in concurrent employments which cease simultaneously), the multiplier for that pension and grant will be his total membership without enhancement;
— regulation 8 removes provisions in regulation 31 of the principal Regulations relating to re-employed pensioners' entitlement to elect for a single new pension and provides for when periods of former membership may be taken into account when calculating the total membership of a re-employed pensioner;
— regulation 10 amends regulation 34 of the principal Regulations so as to provide that where a deferred member becomes an active member again and wants to elect to have his former membership aggregated with his current membership, he must give notice of his election within 12 months of the date he became an active member again or such longer period as his employer may allow and makes provision for when the unaggregated periods of membership should be taken into account;
— regulation 12 amends regulation 43 of the principal Regulations to alter, from two years to three months, the amount of total membership required to determine the applicable calculation for surviving spouses long-term pension;
— regulation 13 amends regulation 54 of the principal Regulations to provide that employing authorities may increase an active member’s total membership;
— regulations 15 and 16 make provision for the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) to prepare, maintain and publish a written funding strategy statement, which must be taken into account by the actuary in specifying the common rate of employer’s contribution;
— regulations 20 and 21 amend regulations 88 and 89 of the principal Regulations so that members with less than three months' membership may be entitled to a refund of contributions if they cease to be employed by a Scheme employer;
— regulation 24 inserts provisions for the issue of benefit statements:
— regulation 25 amends Schedule 1 of the principal Regulations to clarify the definition of “permanently incapable”;
— regulation 27 revokes a number of provisions of the principal Regulations consequential to the above. It also revokes certain other provisions of the principal Regulations as follows:
— regulation 12 of the principal Regulations is amended to delete provisions for Scheme employers and employee representatives to agree a method of determining employees' pay;
— regulation 29 of the principal Regulations is amended to provide that a member with over three months' total membership will be entitled to an ill-health pension and grant;
— regulation 50 of the principal Regulations is revoked and removes calculations in relation to re-employed pensioners;
— regulation 28 makes transitional provisions and regulation 27 allows certain persons who would be placed in a worse position by amendments made by these Regulations to elect for the amendments not to apply in their case.
A number of minor amendments have been made (regulations 9, 21, 22(a) and (b) ) to the conditions for early payment of preserved benefits on the grounds of ill-health.
The remaining regulations make other amendments to the principal Regulations consequential to the main changes above.
The guidance published by CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, referred to in regulation 18, can be purchased from CIPFA, 3 Robert Street, London WC2N 6RL, tel. 020 7543 5605. The publication costs £50 to members of the public, £25 to local authorities and £12.50 to NILGOSC.
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