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The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014

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Active membership

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3.—(1) Subject to regulation 6 (restriction on eligibility for active membership), a person is eligible to be an active member of the Scheme in an employment, if—

(a)employed by an employing authority; or

(b)employed by an admission body within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Part 1 (admission bodies) of Schedule 2 (admission agreements with admission bodies) and is designated in the admission agreement, or belongs to a class of employees that is designated in the admission agreement by the admission body as being eligible for membership of the Scheme.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a person eligible to be an active member of the Scheme in an employment becomes an active member on the day that person’s employment begins or (if later) the day the person becomes eligible for membership.

(3) A person who would, apart from this paragraph, be an active member of the Scheme by virtue of paragraph (2) who is employed under a contract of employment of less than three months does not become an active member on the day specified in paragraph (2) but becomes an active member—

(a)on the member’s automatic enrolment date;

(b)if the person applies to become a member, on the first day of the first payment period following the application; or

(c)on the first day of the payment period following an extension to the contract of employment which means that the contract of employment is to be for three months or more;

whichever is the earlier.

(4) A person who is eligible to be an active member of the Scheme in an employment, but who is not an active member of the Scheme in that employment—

(a)may apply in writing to the person’s employing authority to join the Scheme, and becomes an active member of the Scheme in that employment on the first day of the payment period following the application; but in any event,

(b)becomes an active member of the Scheme in an employment on the automatic enrolment date or automatic re-enrolment date relating to that employment.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) and regulation 7(5) (ending active membership, person whose membership is less than three months treated as never having been a member), an active member has qualifying service for a period of two years if—

(a)that member has spent two years as an active member of the Scheme;

(b)a transfer value payment has been received in respect of rights accrued in a different occupational pension scheme or under a European Pensions Institution and the length of service in respect of which that person accrued benefits in that scheme was two or more years;

(c)the aggregate of the period the person has spent as an active member of the Scheme and of a different occupational pension scheme or European Pensions Institution in respect of which a transfer value payment has been accepted, is two years;

(d)a transfer value payment has been received in respect of rights accrued in a scheme or arrangement that does not permit a refund of contributions to the member;

(e)the member has paid National Insurance contributions whilst an active member of the Scheme and ceases active membership after the end of the tax year preceding that in which the member attains pensionable age;

(f)the member already holds a deferred benefit or is in receipt of a pension (other than a survivor’s pension or pension credit member’s pension) under these Regulations;

(g)a transfer value payment has been made to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme; or

(h)the member ceases active membership at age 75.

(6) The following periods do not count as periods of qualifying service for the purposes of these Regulations—

(a)any period for which contributions have been returned to the member;

(b)any period of membership derived from a non-contributory pension scheme or arrangement from which a transfer value payment has been received and which is attached to the membership in respect of which contributions have been returned under regulation 20 (rights to return of contributions);

(c)any period in respect of which rights have been transferred to another registered pension scheme other than a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme;

(d)any period in respect of which the member has been deprived of benefits under regulation 102 (forfeiture of pension rights after conviction for employment-related offences).

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