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The Automatic Enrolment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

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Amendment of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) Regulations

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

2.—(1) The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010(1) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (27).

(2) In regulation 1(2) (interpretation) in the definition of “opt out notice” for “the Schedule” substitute “Schedule 1”.

(3) For regulation 2 (enrolment information) substitute—

Enrolment information

2.  In these Regulations “enrolment information” means the information described in paragraphs 1 to 15, 24 and 25 of Schedule 2(2)..

(4) In regulation 4 (pay reference periods for the purposes of section 1(1)(c))—

(a)in the heading for “section 1(1)(c)” substitute “sections 1(1)(c), 3(1)(c)(3) and 5(1)(c)”;

(b)in paragraph (1) for “section 1(1)(c) (jobholders), except in the case of person A,” substitute “sections 1(1)(c), 3(1)(c) and 5(1)(c) (jobholders, automatic enrolment and automatic re-enrolment)”;

(c)omit paragraphs (2) to (7).

(5) For regulation 5 (pay reference periods for the purposes of sections 20(1)(b) and (c) and 26(4)(b) and (5)(b)) substitute—

Pay reference periods for the purposes of sections 20(1)(b) and (c) and 26(4)(b) and (5)(b)

5.(1) The pay reference periods for the purposes of sections 20(1)(and (c) and 26(4)(b) and (5)(b) (quality requirement: UK money purchase schemes and UK personal pension schemes) are as follows.

(2) In relation to any person—

(a)the person’s first pay reference period is to begin—

(i)on the first day, on or after the staging date, that a person is both a jobholder and an active member of a qualifying scheme, or

(ii)where there has been a period beginning after that first day, during which the requirements of section 1(1)(a) or (c) (jobholders) were not met but the person remained an active member of a qualifying scheme, on the day following the last day of that period, and

(b)the person’s subsequent pay reference periods begin on the anniversary of the employer’s staging date.

(3) The pay reference period in relation to any person ends on the day on which the person ceases to be a jobholder of the employer or ceases to be an active member of a qualifying scheme..

(6) In regulation 9(6)(a) (opting out) for “the Schedule” substitute “Schedule 1”.

(7) In regulation 12 (automatic re-enrolment dates)—

(a)in paragraph (1)—

(i)for “(2) to (4)” substitute “(3) and (4)”;

(ii)in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) for “of one month beginning with” substitute “beginning 3 months before, and ending at the end of the period of 3 months beginning with,”;

(b)omit paragraph (2);

(c)in paragraph (3) for the words from “which—” to the end substitute “which the jobholder ceases to be an active member of the scheme.”.

(8) For regulation 14 (jobholders excluded from automatic re-enrolment) substitute—

Jobholders excluded from automatic re-enrolment

14.(1) Section 5(2) (automatic re-enrolment) does not apply in the cases to which paragraphs (2) and (3) apply.

(2) This paragraph applies where, in relation to re-enrolment in a case under section 5(1), within the period of 12 months before the automatic re-enrolment date referred to in regulation 12(1)—

(a)the jobholder ceased to be an active member of a qualifying scheme because of an action or omission by the jobholder or by the employer at the jobholder’s request, or

(b)the jobholder gave notice under section 8 (jobholder’s right to opt out).

(3) This paragraph applies where, in relation to re-enrolment in a case under section 5(1B)(4), the jobholder has ceased to be an active member of the qualifying scheme in question because of any action or omission by the employer and the action or omission was at the jobholder’s request..

(9) In regulation 17 (information on the right to opt in to pension saving)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “the information specified in paragraph (2)” substitute “, in writing, the information described in paragraphs 16, 24 and 25 of Schedule 2”;

(b)omit paragraphs (2) and (4).

(10) In regulation 21 (information)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “the information specified in paragraph (2)” substitute “, in writing, the information described in paragraphs 17, 24 and 25 of Schedule 2”;

(b)omit paragraph (2).

(11) In Part 6 (postponement of automatic enrolment) in the heading after “Postponement” insert “or disapplication”.

(12) For regulation 24 (information) substitute—

Prescribed requirements for the purposes of section 4(1), (2) and (3)

24.(1) A notice under section 4(1) or (2) (postponement or disapplication of automatic enrolment) given by an employer (E) to the category of E’s workers specified in Column 1 of the Table must be in writing and include the information described in the paragraphs of Schedule 2 specified in Column 2 of the Table against that category.

Table
Category of workerParagraphs of Schedule 2
all workers18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25
all workers who are not active members of a qualifying scheme18, 20, 21, 24, 25
all workers who are jobholders and who are not active members of a qualifying scheme16, 20, 21, 24, 25
all workers who are not jobholders and are not active members of a qualifying scheme17, 20, 21, 24, 25

(2) A notice given by E under section 4(3) to a worker who is a jobholder must be in writing and include the information described in the paragraphs of Schedule 2 specified in Column 2 of the Table against that category of worker.

(3) For the purposes of section 4(5), the prescribed period is the period of one month beginning with the day after the starting day..

(13) For regulation 27 (information) substitute—

Notice to be given under section 30(3)

27.  Where the employer gives the jobholder the notice mentioned in section 30(3)(5) (transitional period for defined benefits and hybrid schemes), that notice must—

(a)be in writing;

(b)be given at any time before the end of the period of one month beginning with the employer’s first enrolment date, and

(c)include the information described in paragraphs 16, 22, 24 and 25 of Schedule 2..

(14) In regulation 29 for paragraph (a) substitute—

(a)in regulation 6 for paragraph (1) substitute—

(1) An employer must meet the obligation in section 3(2) (automatic enrolment) by entering into arrangements with—

(a)the trustees or managers of an automatic enrolment scheme which is a defined benefits scheme or a hybrid scheme, so that before the end of a period of one month beginning with the closure date a jobholder to whom section 3(6) applies becomes an active member of that scheme with effect from the closure date;

(b)the trustees or managers of an automatic enrolment scheme which is a money purchase scheme, so that before the end of a period of one month beginning with the closure date a jobholder to whom section 3 applies becomes an active member of that scheme with effect from the automatic enrolment date, or

(c)the provider of an automatic enrolment scheme which is a personal pension scheme, so that before the end of the period of one month beginning with the closure date the jobholder to whom section 3 applies receives information about the terms and conditions mentioned in paragraph (4).;

(aa)in regulation 6(2) and (4) for “paragraph (1)(b)”, in each place it occurs, substitute “paragraph (1)(c)”;.

(15) For regulation 33 (information) substitute—

Information

33.(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the employer of a worker who is—

(a)on the staging date both a jobholder and an active member of a qualifying scheme, or

(b)becomes both a jobholder and an active member of a qualifying scheme on a day after the staging date,

must, in accordance with paragraph (2), give the worker, in writing, the information described in paragraphs 7, 23 and 25 of Schedule 2.

(2) The information must be provided at any time before the end of the period of 2 months beginning with the date or day referred to in paragraph (1).

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the worker becomes an active member of a qualifying scheme under section 3(2) (automatic enrolment), 5(2) (automatic re-enrolment) or 7(3) (jobholder’s right to opt in) with effect from the date or day referred to in that paragraph..

(16) In regulation 37 (test scheme: requirements to revalue accrued benefits and increase pensions in payment)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “section 23(1)(b)” substitute “section 23(1)(c)”;

(b)at the end of paragraph (2)(b) add “in relation to a scheme which provides for a member to be entitled to a pension commencing at the appropriate age and continuing for life”.

(17) In regulation 38(2) (staged increase in appropriate age) in the first row in Column 1 of the Table for “6th April 2024” substitute “6th April 2020”.

(18) In regulation 39(4)(b)(v) (requirements for meeting the test scheme standard) omit “subject to regulations 41 and 42,”.

(19) After regulation 39 insert—

Requirement for satisfying the test scheme under section 23(2)(b)

39A.(1) The requirement relating to a sum of money which a scheme referred to in section 23(2)((test scheme) must satisfy if it is to be a test scheme is specified in—

(a)paragraph (4) in the case of a scheme described in paragraph (2), or

(b)paragraph (5) in the case of any other scheme to which section 23(2)(b) applies.

(2) A scheme referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is a scheme under which the sum of money to be made available for the provision of benefits is determined by reference to final pensionable pay.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2), “final pensionable pay” has the same meaning as in the rules of the scheme in question.

(4) Where this paragraph applies, the requirement in question is that the sum of money to be made available for the provision of benefits to a member must—

(a)accrue at an annual rate of at least 16% of average qualifying earnings in the last 3 tax years preceding the end of pensionable service, and

(b)be multiplied by the number of years of pensionable service up to a maximum of 40 years.

(5) Where this paragraph applies, the requirement in question is the requirement specified in paragraph (6) or (7).

(6) The requirement is that the sum of money must accrue at an annual rate of at least 16% of average qualifying earnings multiplied by the number of years of pensionable service up to a maximum of 40 years.

(7) The requirement is that the sum of money must—

(a)accrue at an annual rate of at least 8% of average qualifying earnings, and

(b)until the date on which the member attains the appropriate age, be increased as a minimum by 3.5% per annum, in addition to any increase that is required by virtue of regulation 37(2)(a).

(8) Where the employer makes a choice under paragraph (5) as to the requirement to be satisfied for the purposes of this regulation, that requirement must be satisfied in relation to all persons who are relevant members as defined by section 22(2) (test scheme standard)..

(20) In regulation 43 (modification allowing different quality requirements to be satisfied in aggregate)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “Paragraphs (2) to (5)” substitute “Paragraphs (2) to (4)”;

(b)for paragraph (3)(b) substitute—

(b)all of the paragraph (b) quality requirements are met apart from the relevant benefit requirement (“requirement Y”), and;

(c)for paragraph (4)(b) substitute—

(b)the extent to which requirement Y is met as a proportion of—

(i)where the requirement in subsection (4) of section 23 (test scheme) applies, the annual rate of pension specified in that subsection, or

(ii)where a requirement in paragraph (4), (6) or (7) of regulation 39A applies, the sum of money to be made available for the provision of benefits as specified in the relevant paragraph.;

(d)for paragraphs (5) and (6) substitute—

(5) Where paragraphs (2) to (4) have effect in relation to a hybrid scheme of the relevant description, regulation 39 is to be read as if, for paragraph (5), there were substituted—

(5) A scheme actuary or employer may not certify that a scheme satisfies the test scheme standard if the aggregate percentage referred to in regulation 43(3)(c) is less than 100 in relation to more than 10% of relevant members..

(6) In this regulation “the relevant benefit requirement” means—

(a)the requirements in subsection (4) of section 23 where that subsection applies, or

(b)one of the requirements specified in regulation 39A where that regulation applies..

(21) In regulation 47 (prescribed requirements for non-UK qualifying schemes)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “a money purchase scheme” substitute “an occupational pension scheme”;

(b)in paragraph (3) for “the money purchase scheme” substitute “the occupational pension scheme”;

(c)in paragraph (7) for “money purchase schemes” substitute “any money purchase benefits applicable to the jobholder”.

(22) After regulation 47 insert—

Meaning of “provider”

47A.  For the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of “provider” in section 78 (interpretation of Part), a provider is a person whose normal business includes the provision of personal pensions..

(23) In regulation 48 (amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations) in substituted regulation 16 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997(7)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for the words from “is 19 days” to the end substitute—

is—

(a)where the contribution payable on behalf of an active member is paid to the trustees or managers of the scheme by means of an electronic communication, 22 days; or

(b)in any other case, 19 days,

commencing on the day following the last day of the month in which the amount is deducted from the earnings in question.;

(b)in paragraph (3)—

(i)after the definition of “automatic re-enrolment date” insert—

“electronic communication” has the same meaning as in section 4(1) of the Electronic Communications Act (Northern Ireland) 2001(8);;

(ii)in the definition of “opt out period” after “section 3(2)” insert “, 5(2) or 7(3)”.

(24) In regulation 49 (amendment of the Personal Pension Schemes (Payments by Employers) Regulations) in substituted regulation 5 of the Personal Pension Schemes (Payments by Employers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000(9)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for the words from “is the period” to the end substitute—

is the period of—

(a)where the contribution payable under the direct payment arrangements is paid to the trustees or managers of the scheme by means of an electronic communication, 22 days, or

(b)in any other case, 19 days,

commencing on the day following the last day of the month in which the deduction was made from the employee’s earnings.;

(b)in paragraph (2) for “a jobholder” substitute “an employee”;

(c)in paragraph (3)—

(i)after the definition of “automatic re-enrolment date” insert—

“electronic communication” has the same meaning as in section 4(1) of the Electronic Communications Act (Northern Ireland) 2001;;

(ii)in the definition of “opt out period” after “section 3(2)” insert “, 5(2) or 7(3)”.

(25) In regulation 50(2) (due date for the purposes of section 37(3)) for “19th” substitute “22nd”.

(26) The Schedule shall become Schedule 1.

(27) After Schedule 1 add Schedule 2 as set out in the Schedule to these Regulations.

(2)

Schedule 2 is added by regulation 2(27) of these Regulations

(3)

Sections 3(1) and 5(1) were substituted by section 6(1) and (3) of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2012

(4)

Section 5(1B) was inserted by section 5(2) of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2012

(5)

Section 30(3) was amended by section 15(2) of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2012

(6)

Section 3 was amended by sections 6(1) and (2) and 7(1) of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2012

(8)

2001 c. 9 (N.I.); the definition of “electronic communication” in section 4(1) was amended by paragraph 170 of Schedule 17 to the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21)

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