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The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

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Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 and shall come into operation—

(a)for the purposes of regulation 3, on 6th April 2006 immediately after the coming into operation of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Administration and Audited Accounts) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005(1), and

(b)for all other purposes on 6th April 2006.

Amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations

2.  In paragraph 5(b) of the Schedule to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(2) (contents of accounts audited by the auditor of the scheme) for “regulation 6 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(3) (investments to which restrictions on employer-related investments do not apply)”, there shall be substituted “regulation 13 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005(4) (investments to which restrictions do not apply)”.

Amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations

3.—(1) The Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(5) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation)—

(a)after the definition of “business days” there shall be inserted the following definitions—

“insurance policy” means a contract of a kind referred to in Article 2 of the Life Directive, but excluding a contract of a kind referred to in Article 2(2)(c) or (d) of that Directive;

“the Life Directive” means Directive 2002/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5th November 2002 concerning life assurance(6);;

(b)after the definition of “money purchase scheme”(7) there shall be inserted the following definition—

“qualifying insurance policy” means an insurance policy issued by an insurer which is—

(a)

a person who has permission under Part IV of the 2000 Act(8) to effect or carry out contracts of long term insurance, or

(b)

an undertaking established in an EEA State (as defined in paragraph 8 of Schedule 3 to the 2000 Act) other than the United Kingdom, which is authorised by the competent authorities of that State to carry on the business of direct insurance for the class of assurance as listed in Annex I to the Life Directive in which the insurance policy falls;;

(c)after the definition of “scheme year” there shall be inserted the following definition—

“specified qualifying insurance policy” means a qualifying insurance policy which is a contract falling within paragraph I or III of Part II of Schedule 1 to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001(9) (contracts of insurance);;

(d)for the definition of “wholly insured scheme”(10) there shall be substituted the following definition—

“wholly insured scheme” means a trust scheme, other than a stakeholder pension scheme within the meaning of Article 3 of the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999(11), which has no investments other than specified qualifying insurance policies., and

(e)after paragraph (2) there shall be inserted the following paragraph—

(2A) For the purposes of the definition of “wholly insured scheme”, “investments” shall not include—

(a)cash held on deposit by the trustees or managers pending payment to the insurer or to members of the scheme;

(b)cash held on deposit by trustees or managers to meet the accrued liabilities or administrative expenses, or

(c)any investments arising from voluntary contributions..

(3) In regulation 21 (circumstances where notice of non-payment of any amount payable to a scheme need not be given) for paragraph (4)(12) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(4) Where, under Article 49(9)(b) (other responsibilities of trustees, employers, etc.), there is a requirement on the trustees or managers to give notice within a reasonable time of a failure to pay within a prescribed time an amount corresponding to any contribution payable on behalf of an active member which has been deducted from the member’s earnings, the trustees or managers shall not be required to give notice of a failure to pay such amount by the due date for the purposes of paragraph (1) of Article 86 (schedules of payments to money purchase schemes: supplementary), in a case to which that paragraph would otherwise apply..

Amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Assignment, Forfeiture, Bankruptcy etc.) Regulations

4.—(1) The Occupational Pension Schemes (Assignment, Forfeiture, Bankruptcy etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(13) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 1 (citation, commencement and interpretation) after paragraph (3) there shall be added the following paragraphs—

(4) Notwithstanding section 24(1) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(14), a notice under regulation 2(4) may be sent by ordinary post to a member.

(5) For the purposes of these Regulations, and notwithstanding section 39(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 where a period of time is expressed to begin on, or to be reckoned from, a particular day, that day shall be included in the period..

(3) In regulation 2 (commutation of a pension under an occupational pension scheme)—

(a)for paragraph (1A)(15) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(1A) There are also prescribed for the purposes of Article 89(5)(c)(iii) the circumstances where—

(a)the rights of the member consist only of rights derived from equivalent pension benefits under Part III of the National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland)1966(16), and

(b)either—

(i)the member has consented to the commutation, or

(ii)he has not consented but the conditions in paragraph (4) are satisfied., and

(b)after paragraph (3) there shall be added the following paragraph—

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (1A)(b)(ii), the conditions are that—

(a)the trustees or managers of the scheme have sent to the member’s last known address written notice of their intention to commute his rights from equivalent pension benefits under Part III of the National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, and

(b)no response has been received from the member before the end of the period of two months beginning with the date on which the notice was sent..

Amendment of the Pension Sharing (Pension Credit Benefit) Regulations

5.  In regulation 4 of the Pension Sharing (Pension Credit Benefit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000(17) (commutation of part of pension credit benefit), in paragraph (1)(a)(i), at the end, for “or” there shall be substituted “and”.

Amendment of the Personal Pension Schemes (Payments by Employers) Regulations

6.  After regulation 5 of the Personal Pension Schemes (Payments by Employers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000(18) (prescribed period for the purpose of calculating the due date for the payment of any contribution on behalf of an employee) there shall be inserted the following regulation—

The issue of payment statements to an employee

5A.(1) Where section 107A(19) (monitoring of employers' payments to personal pension schemes) applies the trustees or managers of the scheme must before the end of the interval specified in paragraph (4) or (5), as the case may be, send the employee a statement setting out the amounts and dates of the payments made under the direct payment arrangements during the period specified in paragraph (2) or (3), as the case may be.

(2) Where the scheme is not a stakeholder pension scheme the period is, in the case of—

(a)the first statement referred to in paragraph (1), the period of not more than 12 months beginning with the date the employee joined the scheme and ending with the date of the last payment which appears on that statement, and

(b)the second or any subsequent statement (“the relevant statement”), a period of not more than 12 months beginning with the day following the date of the last payment which appeared on the statement immediately preceding the relevant statement.

(3) Where the scheme is a stakeholder pension scheme the period is the period which is the statement year in relation to that scheme.

(4) Where the scheme is not a stakeholder pension scheme the interval is, in the case of—

(a)the first statement referred to in paragraph (1), the period of 12 months beginning with the date the employee joined the scheme;

(b)the second statement, the period of 12 months beginning with the next anniversary of the date the employee joined the scheme following the date the trustees or managers sent the employee the first statement, and

(c)the third or any subsequent statement, the period of 12 months beginning with the anniversary of the date the employee joined the scheme.

(5) Where the scheme is a stakeholder pension scheme the interval is three months after the end of the statement year to which that statement relates..

Amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations

7.—(1) The Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005(20) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) in the definition of “specified qualifying insurance policy” for “paragraph III” there shall be substituted “paragraphs I or III”.

(3) In regulation 13 (investments to which restrictions do not apply)—

(a)in paragraph (6)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (b) “or” shall be omitted, and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (c) there shall be added the following sub-paragraphs—

(d)Article 59(2)(21) (determination of contributions: supplementary), or

(e)Article 60(5) (serious underprovision),, and

(b)in paragraph (7)(b) for “10 participants in a” there shall be substituted “for 10 participants in the”.

Amendment of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers) Regulations

8.—(1) The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006(22) shall be amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (4).

(2) In regulation 3 (application) for paragraph (2) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations “relevant employer” means—

(a)an employer employing in Northern Ireland at least the number of employees specified in paragraph (2A), and

(b)in the case of—

(i)an occupational pension scheme, an employer in relation to the scheme other than one who is excluded by regulation 4, and

(ii)a personal pension scheme, an employer in relation to the scheme other than one who is excluded by regulation 5.

(2A) The number of employees referred to in paragraph (2)(a) is—

(a)150 with effect from 6th April 2006 to 5th April 2007;

(b)100 with effect from 6th April 2007 to 5th April 2008, and

(c)50 from 6th April 2008 onwards.

(2B) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(a)—

(a)the number of people employed by an employer is to be determined using the same method of calculation as is set out in regulation 4 of the Information and Consultation Regulations(23) (calculation of number of employees), but

(b)references in that regulation to the previous 12 months are to be taken as references to the period of 12 months ending with the date of the proposal to make a listed change to which regulation 6 of these Regulations applies..

(3) In regulation 4 (excluded employers: occupational pension schemes)—

(a)after paragraph (1)(d) there shall be inserted “and”, and

(b)after paragraph (1)(e) the word “and”, paragraphs (1)(f), (2) and (3) shall be omitted.

(4) For regulation 5 (excluded employers: personal pension schemes) there shall be substituted the following regulation—

Excluded employers: personal pension schemes

5.  This regulation excludes any employer in relation to a personal pension scheme where no employer contributions fall to be paid towards the scheme..

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 16th March 2006.

L.S.

John O'Neill

A senior officer of the

Department for Social Development

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