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The Health and Personal Social Services (Superannuation Scheme, Additional Voluntary Contributions and Injury Benefits), Health and Social Care (Pension Scheme) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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New Regulation 59A

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12.  After regulation 59 (Member’s right to transfer a preserved pension to the 2008 Section), insert—

Member’s right to transfer a preserved pension to the 2015 Scheme

59A.(1) A member of the 2015 Scheme who meets both condition A and one of either condition B or condition C, may require the Department to use the cash equivalent of the member’s rights under this Section of the scheme to acquire rights in the 2015 Scheme: this is subject to the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) Condition A is that the member—

(a)is entitled to a deferred benefit under regulation 49,

(b)has not been a member of the 2008 Section, and

(c)became an active member of the 2015 Scheme before attaining the age of 60.

(3) Condition B is that the member has a break in superannuable employment for any one period of more than five years beginning with the day immediately following the cessation of the superannuable employment in respect of which that person is entitled to the pension referred to in paragraph (2)(a) and ending on the day immediately before the person became an active member of the 2015 Scheme in accordance with paragraph (2)(c).

(4) Condition C is that the member—

(a)has a break in active membership of the 2015 Scheme for any one period of more than five years which is the first break of such a period since that membership commenced, and

(b)has not previously had a break in superannuable employment before becoming an active member of the 2015 Scheme which would satisfy condition B.

(5) For the purposes of paragraphs (3) and (4) any break in superannuable employment where the member was in pensionable public service as defined in paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 7 to the 2014 Act is to be disregarded.

(6) The Department shall provide a member to whom this regulation applies with a statement of the amount of the cash equivalent of the member’s benefits accrued in accordance with these Regulations at the guarantee date (“a statement of entitlement”).

(7) In this regulation “the guarantee date” means any date that falls within the required period and is—

(a)chosen by the Department,

(b)specified in the statement of entitlement, and

(c)within the period of 10 days ending with the date on which the member is provided with the statement of entitlement.

(8) In counting the period of 10 days referred to in paragraph (7)(c), Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday are excluded.

(9) In paragraph (7), “the required period” means—

(a)the period of three months beginning with the date that the Department receives notification from the member’s employing authority that the member has joined the 2015 Scheme; or

(b)such longer period beginning with that date (but not exceeding six months) as may be reasonably required if, for reasons beyond the control of the Department, the requisite information cannot be obtained to calculate the amount of the cash equivalent.

(10) Subject to paragraphs (11) to (13), the member’s guaranteed cash equivalent shall be equal to the capitalised value of all of the member’s rights to benefits accrued under these Regulations and any associated rights under Part I of the Pensions (Increase) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971(1).

(11) The Department shall—

(a)take advice from the Scheme Actuary before determining the factors to be used in the calculation of the member’s guaranteed cash equivalent, and

(a)calculate and verify the amount of the guaranteed cash equivalent in accordance with the Occupational Pension Schemes (Transfer Values) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(2).

(12) Except in the case of a transfer payment accepted under regulation 62A (Transfers in respect of members to whom regulation 9A applies who elect to join or re-join the scheme), a member’s cash equivalent will be at least equal to the amount of any transfer payments accepted in respect of the member under regulation 60(4), plus the amount of the member’s contributions to this Section of the scheme.

(13) A member who has received a statement of entitlement in accordance with paragraph (6) may apply to the Department for the cash equivalent of the member’s rights under this Section of the scheme to be used to acquire rights under the 2015 Scheme.

(14) An application under this regulation must be made in respect of each and every portion of the cash equivalent and is—

(a)to be made in writing on the form provided for this purpose by the Department;

(b)to be made before the end of the period of three months beginning with the guarantee date;

(c)irrevocable.

(15) On the making of such an application—

(a)a member becomes entitled to be credited with an increase to the member’s pensionable earnings and a period of pensionable service in the 2015 Scheme in respect of the cash equivalent value of the member’s benefits under this Section of the scheme calculated in accordance with regulation 144 of the 2015 Scheme, and

(b)the member’s rights under this Section of the scheme are extinguished on the day that the member is credited with an increase to the member’s pensionable earnings and a period of pensionable service in accordance with regulation 144 of the 2015 Scheme.

(16) A member’s right to require the Department to use the cash equivalent of the member’s rights in the way referred to in paragraph (1) may only be exercised once..

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