Approval of schemes

591Discretionary approval

(1)The Board may, if they think fit having regard to the facts of a particular case, and subject to such conditions, if any, as they think proper to attach to the approval, approve a retirement benefits scheme for the purposes of this Chapter notwithstanding that it does not satisfy one or more of the prescribed conditions; but this subsection has effect subject to subsection (5) below.

(2)The Board may in particular approve by virtue of this section a scheme—

(a)which exceeds the limits imposed by the prescribed conditions as respects benefits for less than 40 years; or

(b)which provides pensions for the widows of employees on death in service, or for the children or dependants of employees; or

(c)which provides on death in service a lump sum of up to four times the employee’s final remuneration (exclusive of any refunds of contributions); or

(d)which allows benefits to be payable on retirement within ten years of the specified age, or on earlier incapacity; or

(e)which provides for the return in certain contingencies of employees' contributions; or

(f)which relates to a trade or undertaking carried on only partly in the United Kingdom and by a person not resident in the United Kingdom; or

(g)which provides in certain contingencies for securing relevant benefits (but no other benefits) by means of an annuity contract approved by the Board and made with an insurance company of the employee’s choice; or

(h)to which the employer is not a contributor and which provides benefits additional to those provided by a scheme to which he is a contributor.

(3)In subsection (2)(g) above “insurance company” means a company to which Part II of the [1982 c. 50.] Insurance Companies Act 1982 applies.

(4)In applying this section to a scheme which was in existence on 6th April 1980, the Board shall exercise their discretion, in such cases as appear to them to be appropriate, so as to preserve—

(a)benefits earned or rights arising out of service before 6th April 1980; and

(b)any rights to death-in-service benefits conferred by rules of the scheme in force on 26th February 1970.

(5)The Board shall not approve a scheme by virtue of this section if to do so would be inconsistent with regulations made for the purposes of this section.

(6)Regulations made for the purposes of this section may restrict the Board’s discretion to approve a scheme by reference to the benefits provided by the scheme, the investments held for the purposes of the scheme, the manner in which the scheme is administered or any other circumstances whatever.