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

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CHAPTER 1SPOUSES, CIVIL PARTNERS AND NOMINATED PARTNERS

Pensions for surviving spouses, civil partners and nominated partners

23.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this article, a pension is payable on the death of—

(a)a firefighter member who satisfies an eligibility condition and dies while employed by the Board; or

(b)a former firefighter member who—

(i)has been awarded a deferred pension under article 13 which has not come into payment;

(ii)is in receipt of a deferred pension under that article; or

(iii)is in receipt of a pension under any of articles 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16,

to the deceased’s spouse, civil partner or nominated partner for the remainder of their life (a “survivor’s pension”).

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), a survivor’s pension is not payable if the deceased’s spouse, civil partner or nominated partner (as the case may be) is convicted of the murder of the deceased.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5), where the deceased’s spouse, civil partner or nominated partner (as the case may be) is convicted of the manslaughter of the deceased, the Board may, as it thinks fit, withhold the survivor’s pension—

(a)in whole or in part; and

(b)permanently or temporarily.

(4) Where a conviction of the description mentioned in paragraph (2) is quashed on appeal—

(a)a survivor’s pension shall be payable from the day after that on which the deceased died; and

(b)the Board shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the conviction is quashed, pay the arrears of pension accrued.

(5) Where—

(a)a conviction of the description mentioned in paragraph (3) is quashed on appeal, and

(b)the Board has withheld any part of the survivor’s pension,

the Board’s decision under paragraph (3) shall be treated as revoked and it shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the conviction is quashed, pay the arrears of pension accrued from the day after that on which the deceased died.

(6) Nothing in paragraph (4) or (5) shall affect the application of paragraph (2) or (3) if the person whose conviction is quashed is subsequently convicted of the murder or manslaughter of the deceased.

Amount of survivor’s pension: general

24.—(1) Subject to article 25, the amount of a survivor’s pension—

(a)in respect of a firefighter member who satisfies an eligibility condition and dies while employed by the Board, is half of the higher tier ill–health pension to which he would have been entitled under article 12(3) had he retired with the benefit of an ill–health award;

(b)in any other case, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), is half of the pension to which the deceased was entitled.

(2) Where a portion of the deceased’s pension had been commuted under article 19, the amount of the survivor’s pension is half of the deceased’s pension after commutation.

(3) Where the deceased had taken member-initiated early retirement, the amount of the survivor’s pension is—

(a)half of the amount of the pension which the deceased would have received if there had been no actuarial reduction; or

(b)where a portion of the deceased’s pension had been commuted, the amount found by dividing by 2 the product of A and B, where—

A is the amount which the deceased would have received if there had been no actuarial reduction; and

B is the fraction which represents the uncommuted portion of A expressed as a fraction of A.

Amount of survivor’s pension: special cases

25.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), where the person entitled to a survivor’s pension under article 23 is more than twelve years younger than the deceased on the day on which he dies, a reduction of 2.5 per cent for each year by which the survivor’s age exceeds, by more than twelve years, that of the deceased, shall be applied to the article 24 amount.

(2) Where the application of paragraph (1) would result in the payment of a survivor’s pension of less than 50 per cent of the article 24 amount, the survivor’s pension shall be 50 per cent of the article 24 amount.

(3) Where—

(a)a pension debit member satisfies an eligibility condition and dies while employed by the Board;

(b)a survivor’s pension is payable under article 23 on his death; and

(c)a pension sharing order or, in the case of a surviving civil partner, an order to similar effect, had effect on the day on which the pension debit member died,

the amount of the survivor’s pension shall be ascertained with regard to the terms of that order.

(4) In paragraphs (1) and (2), “the article 24 amount” means the amount that would have been ascertained in accordance with article 24 if that article were not subject to paragraphs (1) and (3) of this article.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a part of a year shall be treated as a whole year.

Bereavement pension: survivors

26.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person entitled to a survivor’s pension under article 23 is also entitled, in respect of each of the 13 weeks following the death, to a bereavement pension of an amount equal to the difference between the weekly rate at which the survivor’s pension is paid and—

(a)if the deceased was a firefighter member when he died, the weekly rate of his pensionable pay when he died;

(b)in any other case, the weekly rate of his pension or pensions (including any increase under the Pensions (Increase) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971) when he died.

(2) No entitlement arises under paragraph (1) where—

(a)a contributions election had effect at the date of the deceased’s death; or

(b)the deceased was entitled to a deferred pension that had not come into payment.

(c)Commutation of survivor’s pension

27.—(1) A pension payable under this Chapter may, if the person entitled to it so requests, be commuted for a lump sum if, after commutation, the lump sum would be a trivial commutation lump sum death benefit within the meaning of paragraph 20 of Schedule 29 to the Finance Act 2004.

(2) The amount of the lump sum shall be calculated in accordance with tables prepared by the Scheme Actuary and in force when the commutation takes effect.

(3) On the day on which a pension is commuted under this article, all other entitlements under this Scheme of the person entitled to the pension are extinguished to the extent that they derive from the deceased member.

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