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The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006

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PART 1Pension schemes - general

Interpretation

1.—(1) In this Schedule—

“the 1992 Act” means the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(1);

“the 1993 Act” means the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993(2);

“the 1995 Order” means the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(3);

“the 2004 Act” means the Finance Act 2004(4); and

“the 2005 Order” means the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005(5).

(2) In this Schedule, subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), “occupational pension scheme” means an occupational pension scheme within the meaning of section 1(1) of the 1993 Act(6).

(3) In relation to rules, practices, actions and decisions identified at paragraph 7(a), “occupational pension scheme” means an occupational pension scheme within the meaning of section 1(1) of the 1993 Act under which only retirement benefit activities within the meaning of Article 232(4) of the 2005 Order are carried out.

(4) In relation to rules, practices, actions and decisions identified at paragraphs 12, 13 and 30, “occupational pension scheme” means an occupational pension scheme within the meaning of either section 1(1) of the 1993 Act or section 150(5) of the 2004 Act.

(5) In this Schedule, scheme means an occupational pension scheme, construed in accordance with sub-paragraphs (2) to (4).

(6) In this Schedule, in relation to a scheme—

“active member” has the meaning given by Article 121(1) of the 1995 Order, but in paragraph 13 also includes an active member within the meaning of section 151(2) of the 2004 Act;

“age related benefit” means benefit provided from a scheme to a member—

(a)

on or following his retirement (including early retirement on grounds of ill health or otherwise),

(b)

on his reaching a particular age, or

(c)

on termination of his service in an employment;

“death benefit” means benefit payable from a pension scheme, in respect of a member, in consequence of his death;

“deferred member” has the meaning given by Article 121(1) of the 1995 Order;

“defined benefits arrangement” has the meaning given by section 152(6) of the 2004 Act, but the reference in that section to an arrangement shall be read as referring to an arrangement in respect of a member under a scheme as defined in section 1(1) of the 1993 Act rather than in respect of a member under a pension scheme as defined in section 150(1) of the 2004 Act;

“dependant” means dependant as defined in the scheme rules;

“early retirement pivot age” means an age specified in the scheme rules as the earliest age at which age related benefit becomes payable without actuarial reduction (disregarding any special provision as to early payment on grounds of ill health or otherwise);

“employer” has the meaning given by Article 2(2) of the 2005 Order;

“employer contribution” means any contribution to a scheme by an employer in respect of a member;

“employment” includes any trade, business, profession, office or vocation, whether or not a person is employed in it under a contract of employment or is self-employed;

“late retirement pivot age” means an age specified in the scheme rules above which benefit becomes payable with actuarial enhancement;

“managers” has the meaning given by Article 121(1) of the 1995 Order;

“member” means any active member, deferred member or pensioner member, but in paragraph 12 includes any active, deferred or pensioner member within the meaning of section 151(2) to (4) of the 2004 Act;

“member contribution” means any contribution to a scheme by a member;

“money purchase arrangement” has the meaning given by section 152(2) of the 2004 Act, but the reference in that section to an arrangement shall be read as referring to an arrangement in respect of a member under a scheme as defined in section 1(1) of the 1993 Act rather than in respect of a member under a pension scheme as defined in section 150(1) of the 2004 Act;

“non-discrimination rule” means the rule in paragraph 2(1);

“normal pension age” has the meaning given by section 175 of the 1993 Act;

“normal retirement age”, in relation to a member, means the age at which workers in the undertaking for which the member worked at the time of his retirement, and who held the same kind of position as the member held at his retirement, were normally required to retire;

“pensionable age” has the meaning given by section 121(1) of the 1992 Act(7);

“pensionable pay” means that part of a member’s pay which counts as pensionable pay under the scheme rules;

“pensionable service” has the meaning given by Article 121(1) of the 1995 Order(8);

“pensioner member” has the meaning given by Article 121(1) of the 1995 Order(9); and

“prospective member” means any person who, under the terms of his employment or the scheme rules or both—

(a)

is able, at his own option, to become a member of the scheme,

(b)

shall become so able if he continues in the same employment for a sufficient period of time,

(c)

shall be so admitted to it automatically unless he makes an election not to become a member, or

(d)

may be admitted to it subject to the consent of any person.

(7) In their application to a scheme which is divided into two or more sections, the provisions of this Schedule shall apply as if each section of the scheme was a separate scheme.

(8) In this Schedule—

“personal pension scheme” has the meaning given by section 1(1) of the 1993 Act;

“registered pension scheme” has the meaning given by section 150(2) of the 2004 Act; and

references to contributions under a money purchase arrangement shall be construed as including amounts credited to a member’s account whether or not they reflect payments actually made under the scheme.

(9) Any term used in regulation 12 (pension schemes) shall have the same meaning in that regulation as it has in this Schedule.

Non-discrimination rule

2.—(1) Every scheme shall be treated as including a provision (“the non-discrimination rule”) containing a requirement that the trustees or managers of the scheme refrain from doing any act which is unlawful by virtue of regulation 12.

(2) The other provisions of the scheme are to have effect subject to the non-discrimination rule.

(3) The trustees or managers of a scheme may—

(a)if they do not (apart from this sub-paragraph) have power to make such alterations to the scheme as may be required to secure conformity with the non-discrimination rule, or

(b)if they have such power but the procedure for doing so—

(i)is liable to be unduly complex or protracted, or

(ii)involves the obtaining of consents which cannot be obtained, or can only be obtained with undue delay or difficulty,

by resolution make such alterations to the scheme.

(4) Alterations made by a resolution such as is referred to in sub-paragraph (3)—

(a)may have effect in relation to a period before the alterations are made (but may not have effect in relation to any time before 1st October 2006), and

(b)shall be subject to the consent of any employer in relation to the scheme whose consent would be required for such a modification if it were to be made using the scheme rules.

Exception for rules, practices, actions and decisions relating to occupational pension schemes

3.  Nothing in Part 2 or 3 of these Regulations shall render it unlawful for an employer, or for trustees or managers, to maintain or use, in relation to a scheme, any of the rules, practices, actions or decisions set out in Part 2 of this Schedule.

Exception for rules, practices, actions and decisions relating to contributions by employers to personal pension schemes

4.  Nothing in Part 2 or 3 of these Regulations shall render it unlawful for an employer, in relation to the payment of contributions to any personal pension scheme in respect of a worker, to maintain or use any of the rules, practices, actions or decisions set out in Part 3 of this Schedule.

Procedure in industrial tribunals

5.  Where under regulation 41 (jurisdiction of industrial tribunals) a member or prospective member of a scheme presents to an industrial tribunal a complaint that the trustees or managers of the scheme—

(a)have committed against him an act which is unlawful by virtue of regulation 12 (pension schemes) or regulation 25 (relationships which have come to an end); or

(b)are by virtue of regulation 26 (liability of employers and principals) or regulation 27 (aiding unlawful acts) to be treated as having committed against him such an act,

the employer in relation to the scheme shall, for the purposes of the rules governing procedure, be treated as a party and be entitled to appear and be heard in accordance with those rules.

Remedies in industrial tribunals

6.—(1) This paragraph applies where—

(a)under regulation 41 (jurisdiction of industrial tribunals) a member or prospective member of a scheme (“the complainant”) presents to an industrial tribunal a complaint against the trustees or managers of the scheme or an employer;

(b)the complainant is not a pensioner member of the scheme;

(c)the complaint relates to the terms on which persons become members of the scheme, or the terms on which members of the scheme are treated; and

(d)the tribunal finds the complaint to be well-founded.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, the industrial tribunal may, without prejudice to the generality of its power under regulation 43(1)(a) (power to make order declaring rights of complainant and respondent), make an order declaring that the complainant has a right—

(a)where the complaint relates to the terms on which persons become members of the scheme, to be admitted to the scheme; or

(b)where the complaint relates to the terms on which members of the scheme are treated, to membership of the scheme without discrimination.

(3) An order under sub-paragraph (2)—

(a)may be made in respect of such period as is specified in the order (but may not be made in respect of any time before 1st October 2006);

(b)may make such provision as the industrial tribunal considers appropriate as to the terms on which, or the capacity in which, the complainant is to enjoy such admission or membership.

(4) Where this paragraph applies, the industrial tribunal may not make an order for compensation under regulation 43(1)(b), whether in relation to arrears of benefits or otherwise, except—

(a)for injury to feelings;

(b)by virtue of regulation 43(3).

(6)

Section 1 was amended by Article 216 of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1))

(7)

Relevant amendments have been made to section 121(1) by Article 123 of, and paragraph 9(a) of Schedule 2 to, the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/3213 (N.I. 22))

(8)

Relevant amendments have been made to Article 121(1) by Article 291 of, and Schedule 11 to, the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1))

(9)

Relevant amendments have been made to Article 121(1) by section 52 of, and paragraph 5(3) of Schedule 5 to, the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 c. 4 (N.I.)

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