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The New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2007

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PART 10QUALIFYING SERVICE AND PENSIONABLE SERVICE

Qualifying service

55.—(1) For the purposes of this Scheme, the following periods are periods of a person’s qualifying service—

(a)the period during which the person is a firefighter member of the scheme and for which he receives pensionable pay;

(b)any period during which the person—

(i)is a firefighter member of the Scheme;

(ii)is on unpaid absence other than unauthorised absence;

(iii)has made an election under article 58(1); and

(iv)has paid such contributions as are required to be paid under that article in respect of that period;

(c)in relation to the second pension under article 17 (entitlement to two pensions), the period of qualifying service taken into account in calculating the first pension under that article;

(d)any period of additional service purchased under Part 11;

(e)a period credited on acceptance of a transfer under Part 12;

(f)where the person was a member the 2007 Scheme, the period of service used for determining his eligibility for an award under that Scheme;

(g)any period of service that may be credited to the scheme member resulting from maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Reckoning of pensionable service

56.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), for the purposes of this Scheme, a person’s pensionable service accrues as pension contributions are paid, and consists of—

(a)any period in respect of which he has paid pension contributions as a member of this Scheme;

(b)any period of service taken into account for the purposes of an award under article 13 (deferred pension) or article 17 (entitlement to two pensions) where, on again taking up employment with the Board—

(i)he becomes a member of the Scheme; and

(ii)in accordance with article 14 (cancellation of deferred pension) the award under article 13 or article 17 is cancelled;

(c)any period which he is entitled to reckon as pensionable service under article 58 (reckoning of unpaid period of absence) or article 59 (reckoning of maternity, paternity and adoption leave, etc) or under any of articles 65 to 69;

(d)any period of pensionable service taken into account for the purposes of an ill–health award under article 12 of this Scheme (award on ill–health retirement) other than any period included by way of enhancement, where—

(i)the award is cancelled under article 50; and

(ii)he remains a member of this Scheme;

(e)if he rejoins this Scheme, on again taking up employment with the Board, any period of service as a former member of the Scheme, in respect of which—

(i)no pension has been paid;

(ii)no refund of pension contributions has been made; and

(iii)no transfer value payment has been made; and

(f)any period of service credited to the Scheme as pensionable service on acceptance of a transfer into the Scheme under Part 12.

(2) The pensionable service of a firefighter may not exceed 45 years.

(3) A person may not—

(a)buy additional service if that would increase his pensionable service to more than 40 years by normal retirement age; or

(b)transfer service into the Scheme if the aggregate of—

(i)that service;

(ii)his prospective service to normal retirement age; and

(iii)any service already accrued in the Scheme,

would exceed 40 years by normal retirement age.

(4) Any additional period of service purchased or in the process of being purchased under Part 11 is reckonable as pensionable service; but where only a portion of the pension contributions payable in respect of a period of additional service have been paid, only the equivalent portion of the period is reckonable as pensionable service.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), an additional period of service purchased or in the process of being processed under Part 11 is to be taken into account for the purposes of determining—

(a)the amount of pension payable to the firefighter member or to his survivors; and

(b)the amount of service a firefighter member has or may accrue in the Scheme.

(6) An additional period of service is not to be taken into account in assessing—

(a)the amount of the higher tier ill-health pension included in a higher tier ill–health award under Part 3; or

(b)the amount of a death grant under Part 5.

Non-reckonable service

57.  The following periods are not reckonable as pensionable service—

(a)any period of unpaid leave, other than a period that is reckonable by virtue of article 58;

(b)any period of service that has been taken into account for the purposes of a pension under article 13 (deferred pension) that has not been cancelled under article 14;

(c)any period of absence resulting from sickness or injury attributable to the person’s misconduct which the Board determine should be unpaid absence;

(d)any period of additional maternity, or adoption leave in respect of which the person entitled has declined to pay the required contributions; and

(e)any period of service that is pensionable service by virtue of any other provision of this Part.

Reckoning of unpaid period of absence

58.—(1) A firefighter member may reckon as pensionable service all or part of a period of absence without pay if he elects to pay the pension contributions that he and the Board would have paid in accordance with Part 11 in respect of that period if it had been a period of absence with pay.

(2) An election under paragraph (1) is to be made by notice in writing given to the Board not later than six months from the end of the period of unpaid leave for which contributions are due.

(3) The Board may pay the employer’s pension contributions that would otherwise fall to be paid by the employee as a result of his election.

(4) Contributions falling to be paid by the employee under this article must be paid within six months of the date on which the notice under paragraph (2) is given.

Reckoning of maternity, paternity and adoption leave, etc

59.—(1) A female firefighter member is entitled to reckon as pensionable service any period of—

(a)paid maternity leave;

(b)unpaid ordinary maternity leave; and

(c)unpaid maternity leave in respect of which she has paid pension contributions in accordance with article 64.

(2) A firefighter member is entitled to reckon as pensionable service any period of—

(a)paternity leave;

(b)ordinary adoption leave;

(c)paid additional adoption leave; and

(d)unpaid additional adoption leave in respect of which he has paid pension contributions in accordance with article 64.

(3) Where there is a period of pensionable service both before and after a period of maternity or adoption leave in respect of which a person is entitled to pay pension contributions but does not do so, those periods shall be treated for the purposes of this Scheme as if they were continuous.

Calculation of pensionable service

60.—(1) Paragraphs (3) to (5) are subject to article 56(2) and (3).

(2) For the purposes of paragraphs (3) and (4), a period which comprises 365 completed days including 29th February shall be treated as a completed year.

(3) The pensionable service of a whole-time firefighter member shall be calculated in accordance with the formula—

; where—

A is the number of completed years in the period; and

B is the number of completed days in any remaining part of a year.

(4) The pensionable service of a part-time regular firefighter member shall be calculated as a proportion of whole-time service by applying the formula—

; where—

A is the person’s weekly contractual hours;

B is the weekly whole-time equivalent conditioned hours; and

C is the period of his part-time service in years (calculated in accordance with the formula in paragraph (1), and with regard to paragraph (2)).

(5) The pensionable service of a retained or volunteer firefighter member for any year or part of a year of his service shall be assessed as a proportion of whole-time service in accordance with the formula—

reg (5)

, where

A is the actual pensionable pay received in that year, and

B is his reference pay for that year.

(6) Where, for the purpose of calculating an award payable to or in respect of a firefighter member—

(a)it is necessary to determine his pensionable service reckonable by reason of service or employment before or after a particular date (“the material date”); and

(b)by virtue of the receipt by the Board of a transfer value payment, he is entitled to reckon a period of pensionable service (“the credited period”) by reason of employment for a period (“the previous employment period”) which includes that date,

the credited period counts as pensionable service reckonable by reason of employment before and after the material date in the same proportion as that between the parts of the previous employment period falling before and after the material date.

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