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Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 and shall come into operation on 1st April 2009.

(2) In these Regulations—

“the 2002 Regulations” means the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002(1);

“the 2002 Scheme” means the occupational pension scheme constituted by the 2002 Regulations, the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment No. 2 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002(2) and the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000(3) (so far as they continue to operate);

“active member” has the same meaning as in Article 121(1) of the Pension (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(4);

“the Administration Regulations” means the Local Government Pension Scheme (Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009(5);

“admission agreement fund” means a pension fund established under regulation 28 (admission agreement funds) of the Administration Regulations;

“the Committee” means the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee established under section 1 of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(6);

“contractual hours”—

(a)

in relation to an employee (other than an employee with non-cyclical fluctuating hours), means the number of hours specified in his contract of employment as his contractual hours for the purposes of the Scheme; and

(b)

in relation to an employee with non-cyclical fluctuating hours, means the number of hours calculated as his contractual hours for the purposes of the Scheme in accordance with the provisions of his contract of employment;

“contract of employment” includes terms of office;

“contribution rate” means the appropriate contribution rate for a member as provided for in regulation 3 (contributions payable by active members);

“deferred member” has the same meaning as in Article 121(1) of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, except where he has exercised his right to aggregate membership in accordance with regulation 12 (re-employed and rejoining deferred members) of the Administration Regulations;

“the Department” means the Department of the Environment;

“eligible child” has the meaning given by regulation 26 (meaning of “eligible child”);

“employee” includes a whole-time, part-time or variable time employee;

“employing authority” means a body employing an employee who is eligible to be a member or is a local authority as defined in Article 2 of the Superannuation (Northern Ireland) Order of 1972(7) (but see regulation 6(6) (admission agreements – further provisions) of the Administration Regulations);

“employment” includes office;

“final pay” shall be construed in accordance with regulation 8 (final pay: general);

“financial year” means the year ending 31st March;

“fluctuating emoluments” are any part of an employee’s earnings which are not paid on a fixed basis and are additional to the basic wage or salary;

“the fund” means the superannuation fund established under the Local Government (Superannuation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1950(8);

“local government employment” means employment by virtue of which the person employed is or has been (or is or has been deemed to be) a member;

“member” has the same meaning as in Article 121(1) of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 but, except in regulation 64 (annual benefit statements) and in Part 11 (pension sharing) of the Administration Regulations, shall not include a pension credit member;

“nominated cohabiting partner” has the meaning given by regulation 25 (meaning of “nominated cohabiting partner”);

“non-cyclical fluctuating hours” means hours which the employing authority are entitled to require the employee to work in a contractual week in any case where those hours vary in a way which is not cyclical;

“normal retirement age” is 65;

“occupational pension scheme” has the meaning given by section 150(5) of the Finance Act 2004(9);

“part-time employee” means an employee whose contract of employment provides—

(a)

that he is such an employee for the Scheme, or

(b)

who is neither a whole-time employee nor a variable-time employee;

“pension credit” means a credit under Article 26(1)(b)(10) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 or section 29(1)(b)(11) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999;

“pension credit benefits” means benefits payable under the Scheme to or in respect of a pension credit member by virtue of rights under the Scheme attributable to a pension credit;

“pension credit member” means a person who has pension credit rights or benefits under the Scheme;

“pension credit rights” means rights to future benefits under the Scheme which are attributable to a pension credit;

“pension debit” means a debit under Article 26(1)(a) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 or under section 29(1)(a) of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999;

“pensionable pay” has the same meaning given in regulation 4 (meaning of “pensionable pay”);

“pensioner member” has the same meaning as in Article 121(1) of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

“relevant reserve forces service” means service (other than service for the purposes of training only or service for a period in respect of which a cancelling notice has been served)—

(a)

in pursuance of any notice or directions given under any enactment which provides for the calling out on permanent service, or the calling into actual service, or the embodiment of, any reserve or auxiliary force, or members of such a force, or the recall of service pensioners;

(b)

in pursuance of any obligation or undertaking to serve when called upon as a commissioned officer; or

(c)

rendered by virtue of section 28 or 65 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996(12),

and paragraph (b) applies whether or not the obligation or undertaking is legally enforceable, but not in the case of an obligation or undertaking to accept a permanent commission or a commission for a fixed term or to serve for the purposes of periodical training;

“reserve forces pay”, in relation to any person, is the total of—

(a)

his pay for performing relevant reserve forces service (including marriage, family and similar allowances); and

(b)

any payments under Part 5 of the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) (Northern Ireland) Order 1953(13);

“reserve forces service leave”, in relation to a person, means being away from work—

(a)

after—

(i)

he has left the employment in which he is an active member; or

(ii)

he has been granted leave of absence from such an employment,

in order to perform reserve forces service;

(b)

without having agreed to receive a return of contributions under regulation 41 (rights to return of contributions) of the Administration Regulations; and

(c)

without having elected that the absence is not to count as such by giving notice in writing to the Committee not later than 12 months after the end of the period of reserve forces service to which the notice relates (or within such longer period as the Committee may allow);

“the Scheme” means the occupational pension scheme constituted by these Regulations, the Administration Regulations, the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009(14) and the 2002 Regulations (so far as they continue to operate);

“service” means service or employment with an employing authority and service rendered by an employee of an employing authority whose services are placed at the disposal of a Minister of the Crown or a Government department in pursuance of any enactment is to be treated as service with an employing authority;

“total membership” means the aggregate of periods of membership which count as such under regulation 6 (periods of membership);

“variable-time employee” means an employee whose contract of employment provides that he is such an employee for the Scheme and—

(a)

whose pay is calculated by reference to his duties (rather than necessarily by reference to the number of hours he has worked), or

(b)

whose duties only have to be performed on an occasional basis; and

“whole-time employee” means an employee whose contract of employment provides—

(a)

that he is such an employee for the Scheme, or

(b)

that his contractual hours are not less than the number of contractual hours for a person employed in that employment on a whole-time basis.

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