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The Occupational Pension Schemes (Schemes that were Contracted-out) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Suspension and forfeiture of guaranteed minimum pension

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17.—(1) The scheme may provide for an earner’s or an earner’s widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension to be suspended if—

(a)the person entitled to payments giving effect to those rights (“the pensioner”) is, in the opinion of the trustees of the scheme, unable to act by reason of mental disorder, and there is provision in the scheme that requires that, in those circumstances, sums equivalent to the guaranteed minimum pension—

(i)must be paid or applied for the maintenance of the pensioner, except in so far as they are not, in the opinion of the trustees, required for that purpose;

(ii)may, in so far as they are not in the opinion of the trustees required for the maintenance of the pensioner, be paid or applied for the maintenance of any dependants of the pensioner;

(iii)must, in so far as such sums are not in the opinion of the trustees required for the maintenance of the pensioner or of any dependant of the pensioner, be held by the trustees for the pensioner until the pensioner is again able to act, or if the pensioner dies before that happens, for the pensioner’s estate;

(b)the pensioner is in prison or detained in legal custody and there is provision in the scheme for sums equivalent to the guaranteed minimum pension to be paid or applied during such circumstances for the maintenance of such one or more of the pensioner’s dependants as the trustees of the scheme may in their discretion determine;

(c)the earner is re-employed by the employer by whom the earner was previously employed in contracted-out employment in respect of which the guaranteed minimum pension became payable and there is provision in the scheme for the guaranteed minimum pension that becomes payable when the suspension is lifted to be increased in accordance with section 11(1) of the 1993 Act.

(2) The scheme may provide for an earner’s or an earner’s widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension (whether current or prospective) to be forfeited if—

(a)the person entitled to that pension has been convicted of—

(i)an offence of treason, or

(ii)one or more offences under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989(1) for which the person has been sentenced on the same occasion to a term of imprisonment of, or to 2 or more consecutive terms amounting in aggregate to, at least 10 years;

(b)in the case of a widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension, the earner by reference to whose contracted-out employment that pension is payable has been convicted of an offence of treason, or has been convicted of an offence or offences and has been sentenced to a term or terms of imprisonment as set out in sub-paragraph (a)(ii);

(c)in the case of any payment of guaranteed minimum pension for which a claim has not been made, a period of at least 8 years has elapsed from the date on which that payment became due;

(d)in the case of a widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension, that person is convicted of the offence of murder or manslaughter of the earner by reference to whose contracted-out employment that pension is payable, or any other offence of which unlawful killing of that member is an element.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(d), “unlawful killing” includes unlawfully aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the death of a person.

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