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The Civil Partnership (Pensions, Social Security and Child Support) (Consequential, etc. Provisions) Order (Northern Ireland) 2005

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Citation and commencement

1.  This Order may be cited as the Civil Partnership (Pensions, Social Security and Child Support) (Consequential, etc. Provisions) Order (Northern Ireland) 2005 and shall come into operation on 5th December 2005.

Amendment of legislation

2.—(1) Schedule 1, which contains amendments of legislation relating to pension sharing on divorce etc., shall have effect.

(2) Schedule 2, which contains amendments of legislation relating to occupational pension and personal pension schemes, shall have effect.

(3) Schedule 3, which contains amendments of legislation relating to social security, shall have effect.

(4) Schedule 4, which contains amendments of legislation relating to child support, shall have effect.

(5) Schedule 5, which contains transitory provisions relating to child support, shall have effect.

Transitional provision relating to housing benefit

3.—(1) Paragraph (2) applies in the case of a claimant who is a member of a couple who live together as if they were civil partners on or after 5th December 2005, in respect of whom there is an award of housing benefit on 5th December 2005.

(2) In such a case, subject to paragraphs (3) and (4)—

(a)the provisions of regulation 8(2)(1) and (10)(2) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations (date from which a decision superseding an earlier decision takes effect) shall not apply; and

(b)a superseding decision made in consequence of the amendments made by paragraph 13 or 14 of Schedule 3 shall take effect—

(i)from the date that the claimant reports to the relevant authority that the couple live together as if they were civil partners,

(ii)from the date on which the relevant authority otherwise becomes aware that the couple are living together as if they were civil partners, or

(iii)where there exists an award of a relevant benefit on 5th December 2005, from the date the superseding decision is made in relation to the relevant benefit that is consequential on the amendments made by paragraph 12, 23 or 30 of Schedule 3,

whichever is the earliest date.

(3) The relevant authority may, where the provisions of paragraph (2)(b)(i) or (ii) apply, determine such earlier effective date for the superseding decision as it considers appropriate if it is satisfied that the claimant could reasonably have been expected to report that he is a member of a couple who live together as if they were civil partners earlier than the date which would otherwise apply under that paragraph.

(4) The provisions of regulation 8(2) and (10) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations shall apply in a case falling within paragraph (1) where the application of those provisions is advantageous to the claimant.

(5) In this Article—

“couple” has the same meaning as in regulation 2(1) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987(3);

“the Decisions and Appeals Regulations” means the Housing Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(4);

“relevant authority”(5) has the same meaning as in regulation 2(1) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987;

“relevant benefit” means income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or a guarantee credit awarded under section 2(1) of the State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002(6).

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 1st December 2005.

L.S.

John O'Neill

A senior officer of the

Department for Social Development

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