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

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PART 4SURVIVORS’ PENSIONS

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.

CHAPTER 2CHILDREN’S PENSIONS

Child’s pension

28.  Subject to article 29, a child is eligible for a child’s pension if he is the child of—

(a)a firefighter member who satisfies one of the eligibility conditions and dies while employed by the Board;

(b)a pensioner member who is in receipt of a pension under this Scheme when he dies; or

(c)a deferred member who is entitled to a deferred pension under this Scheme which is not in payment when he dies.

Child’s pension: limitations and duration

29.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a child is not eligible if—

(a)he is 18 or older;

(b)he has ceased full-time education and is in paid employment; or

(c)he is married or has entered into a civil partnership.

(2) A child aged 18 but not more than 23 is eligible if he is in full–time education or attending a course of at least one year’s duration.

(3) A child aged 18 or more is eligible if, when the scheme member dies, he is dependent on him by reason of permanent disability.

(4) Subject to paragraph (6), a child is not eligible if he is convicted of the murder of the deceased.

(5) Subject to paragraph (7), where the child is convicted of the manslaughter of the deceased, the Board may, as it thinks fit, withhold the child’s pension—

(a)in whole or in part; and

(b)permanently or temporarily.

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

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

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

(7) Where—

(a)a conviction of the description mentioned in paragraph (5) is quashed on appeal; and

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

the Board’s decision under paragraph (5) shall be treated as revoked and it shall, as soon as reasonably practical after the conviction is quashed, pay the arrears of pension accrued from the day after that on which the deceased died.

(8) Nothing in paragraph (6) or (7) shall affect the application of paragraph (4) or (5) if the child whose conviction is quashed is subsequently convicted of the murder or manslaughter of the deceased.

(9) A child’s pension ceases to be payable—

(a)unless paragraph (2) or (3) applies, on his 18th birthday or the occurrence of an event referred to in paragraph (b) or (c), whichever first occurs;

(b)where paragraph (2) applies, on his 23rd birthday or on the day on which his full–time education ceases, whichever first occurs;

(c)where paragraph (3) applies, when the Board is satisfied—

(i)that the child is no longer permanently disabled; or

(ii)that the child’s pension should not have been awarded.

(10) Unless paragraph (9)(c) applies, a pension for which a child is eligible as mentioned in paragraph (3) is payable for life.

Amount of child’s pension

30.—(1) The amount payable by way of a child’s pension under this Chapter is—

(a)where the deceased died while employed as a firefighter member by the Board and there is one eligible child, one quarter of the ill–health pension to which the member would have been entitled under article 12 had he retired with the benefit of a higher tier ill–health award on the day after that on which he died;

(b)where the deceased died while employed as a firefighter member by the Board and there is more than one eligible child, one half of the ill–health pension to which the member would have been entitled under article 12 had he retired with the benefit of a higher tier ill–health award on the day after that on which he died, divided by the number of eligible children;

(c)in any other case, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3)—

(i)if there is one eligible child, one quarter of the pension to which the deceased was entitled on the day he died (whether or not, in the case of a deferred pension, the pension had come into payment);

(ii)if there is more than one eligible child, one half of the pension to which the deceased was entitled on the day he died (whether or not, in the case of a deferred pension, the pension had come into payment) divided by the number of eligible children.

(2) Where a portion of the deceased’s pension had been commuted under article 19, the amount is—

(a)if there is one eligible child, one quarter of the uncommuted portion;

(b)if there is more than one eligible child, one half of the uncommuted portion, divided by the number of eligible children.

(3) Where the deceased had taken member-initiated early retirement, the amount is—

(a)if there is one eligible child, one quarter of the amount of the pension which the deceased would have received if there had been no actuarial reduction;

(b)if there is more than one eligible child, one half of the amount of the pension which the deceased would have received if there had been no actuarial reduction, divided by the number of eligible children;

(c)where a portion of the deceased’s pension had been commuted, and there is one eligible child, the amount found by dividing by 4 the product of A and B.

(d)where a portion of the deceased’s pension had been commuted, and there is more than one eligible child, the amount found by dividing the product of A and B by 2 and then dividing the resultant amount by the number of eligible children.

(4) In paragraph (3)(c) and (d)—

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.

Bereavement pension: children

31.—(1) Where—

(a)no person is entitled to a survivor’s pension under article 23; and

(b)a child of the deceased is eligible for a child’s pension (“eligible child”),

the Board shall, subject to paragraph (3), pay to the eligible child the amount referred to in paragraph (2), in respect of each of the 13 weeks following the deceased’s death or, if shorter, each complete week of the period beginning on the day after the deceased’s death and ending on the day on which the child’s pension ceases to be payable.

(2) The amount is equal to that which the Board would have paid under paragraph (1) of article 26 (bereavement pension: survivors) had a survivor’s pension been payable.

(3) Where there is more than one eligible child, the amount ascertained in accordance with paragraph (2) shall be divided equally between the eligible children; but—

(a)a child’s share shall cease to be paid to him as soon as his child’s pension ceases to be payable; and

(b)the share to which he would otherwise have been entitled shall be distributed equally among any remaining eligible children.

(4) Where a person in receipt of a survivor’s bereavement pension dies before the end of the period for which that pension is payable (“the 13 week period”), the Board shall, subject to paragraph (6), pay to the eligible child (if any) a bereavement pension, in respect of each complete week of whichever is the shorter of—

(a)the period beginning on the day after the survivor’s death and ending at the end of the 13 week period; and

(b)the period beginning on the day after the survivor’s death and ending on the day on which the child’s pension ceases to be payable.

(5) The amount of a bereavement pension under paragraph (4) is equal to that which the Board would have paid under paragraph (1) of article 26 had a survivor’s bereavement pension been payable for the part of the 13 week period that falls after the survivor’s death.

(6) Where there is more than one eligible child, the amount ascertained in accordance with paragraph (5) shall be divided equally between the eligible children; but—

(a)a child’s share shall cease to be paid to him as soon as his child’s pension ceases to be payable; and

(b)the share to which he would otherwise have been entitled shall be distributed equally among any remaining eligible children.

Pension for child where no survivor’s pension paid

32.—(1) Where—

(a)no person is entitled to a pension under article 23 as a survivor of the deceased; and

(b)a child of the deceased is eligible for a child’s pension under article 28,

the Board shall pay to the child, for so long as he is an eligible child, the amount that would have been paid by way of a survivor’s pension under article 24 if, in paragraph (1) of that article, the words “Subject to article 25” had been omitted.

(2) Where there is more than one eligible child, the amount referred to in paragraph (1) shall be divided equally between the eligible children; but—

(a)a child’s share shall cease to be paid as soon as his child’s pension ceases to be payable; and

(b)the share to which he would otherwise have been entitled shall be distributed equally among any remaining children.

Child’s pension in respect of pension debit member

33.  Where a pension debit member dies leaving a child, the reduction in his rights under this Scheme by virtue of Article 28 of the 1999 Order shall be disregarded for the purposes of calculating any pension payable under this Chapter.

Commutation of child’s pension

34.—(1) A pension payable under this Chapter may be commuted for a lump sum—

(a)with the consent of the child’s remaining parent or, if he has none, the child’s guardian or, if he has none, the child himself if he is over 18; and

(b)if, when commuted, 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 of the child under this Scheme are extinguished to the extent that they derive from the deceased member.

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