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The Occupational Pension Schemes and Social Security (Schemes that were Contracted-out and Graduated Retirement Benefit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Occupational Pension Schemes and Social Security (Schemes that were Contracted-out and Graduated Retirement Benefit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 and shall come into operation on 6th April 2017.

(2) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(1) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

Amendment of the Contracting-out (Transfer and Transfer Payment) Regulations

2.  In regulation 13B(1) of the Contracting-out (Transfer and Transfer Payment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(2) (modification of section 12: revaluation after transfer from another scheme) after “This regulation applies” insert “where an earner’s service in contracted-out employment ended on the second abolition date(3) and”.

Amendment of the Social Security (Graduated Retirement Benefit) Regulations

3.  In paragraphs 6(2), 10(2), 16(2) and 20(2) of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Graduated Retirement Benefit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005(4) (calculating lump sums for the purposes of increasing lump sums in relation to deferred graduated retirement benefit) in the definition of “accrual period” after “Claims and Payments Regulations” insert “or in accordance with regulation 22C(3) or (4)(5) of those Regulations”.

Amendment of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Schemes that were Contracted-out) Regulations

4.—(1) The Occupational Pension Schemes (Schemes that were Contracted-out) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(6) are amended in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) In regulation 2 (interpretation) after the definition of “administrator” insert—

“bereavement support payment” means the benefit described in section 29 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015(7) (bereavement support payment);.

(3) In regulation 12(1) (circumstances for the purposes of section 13(6) of the 1993 Act in which widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension is payable)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (b)(iii) for “Northern Ireland, or” substitute “Northern Ireland;”;

(b)after sub-paragraph (c) add—

(d)the widower or surviving civil partner is entitled to a bereavement support payment by virtue of the earner’s contributions, or

(e)the widower or surviving civil partner was entitled to a bereavement support payment by virtue of the earner’s contributions but that entitlement came to an end at a time after the widower or surviving civil partner attained the age of 45..

(4) In regulation 13 (period for the purposes of section 13(6) of the 1993 Act for which widower’s or surviving civil partner’s guaranteed minimum pension is payable)—

(a)after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) Where a pension is payable by virtue of regulation 12(1)(d) but not by virtue of regulation 12(1)(a), (b), (c) or (e), the scheme is to make provision for the pension to be payable for the period during which the circumstances described in regulation 12(1)(d) continue to exist.

(3B) Subject to paragraph (4A), where a pension is payable by virtue of regulation 12(1)(e) but not by virtue of regulation 12(1)(a), (b), (c) or (d), the scheme is to make provision for the pension to be payable for the remainder of the widower’s or surviving civil partner’s life.;

(b)for paragraphs (4) and (5) substitute—

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), there is excluded from the periods prescribed by paragraphs (2) and (3) any period—

(a)after the time of any—

(i)marriage, or

(ii)formation of a civil partnership,

by the widower or surviving civil partner whilst under pensionable age and which takes place after the earner’s death;

(b)during which the widower or surviving civil partner is under pensionable age and—

(i)he or, as the case may be, she and a person of the opposite sex are living together as husband and wife, or

(ii)he or, as the case may be, she and a person of the same sex are living together as if they were civil partners;

(c)after the widower has attained pensionable age if immediately before he attained that age—

(i)he and a woman to whom he was not married were living together as husband and wife, or

(ii)he and a man were living together as if they were civil partners, or

(d)after the civil partner has attained pensionable age if immediately before he or she attained that age—

(i)he or she and a person of the opposite sex to whom he or she was not married were living together as husband and wife, or

(ii)he or she and a person of the same sex were living together as if they were civil partners.

(4A) Subject to paragraph (5), there is excluded from the period prescribed by paragraph (3B) any period—

(a)after the time of any—

(i)marriage, or

(ii)formation of a civil partnership,

by the widower or surviving civil partner which takes place after the earner’s death, or

(b)during which—

(i)the widower or surviving civil partner and a person of the opposite sex are living together as husband and wife, or

(ii)the widower or surviving civil partner and a person of the same sex are living together as if they were civil partners.

(5) The following provisions do not apply where a man became a widower before 5th December 2005—

(a)paragraph (4)(a)(ii), (b)(ii), (c)(ii) and (d)(ii), and

(b)paragraph (4A)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii)..

(5) In regulation 15 (fixed rate revaluation of guaranteed minimum pensions for early leavers) for paragraph (2) substitute—

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), in a case to which this regulation applies, the scheme is to provide for the weekly equivalent mentioned in section 10(2) of the 1993 Act to be increased, in relation to the period of service in respect of which accrued rights to a guaranteed minimum pension have been acquired under, or transferred to, the scheme, by at least—

(a)4.75 per cent. compound, where the period of pensionable service under the scheme terminates on or after 6th April 2016 but before 6th April 2017;

(b)3.5 per cent. compound, where the period of pensionable service under the scheme terminates on or after 6th April 2017..

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Communities on 15th March 2017

(L.S.)

Thomas O’Reilly

A senior officer of the Department for Communities

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