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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Pension debits

Section 33: Time for discharge of liability

Subsection (1) requires the person responsible for a pension arrangement to discharge his liability for a pension credit before the end of the period allowed for implementation, defined in section 34;

Subsection (2) makes provisions similar to those in section 99(7) of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 (inserted by paragraph 6(e) of Schedule 6 to the Pensions Act 1995) concerning the late payment of an early leaver’s cash equivalent by an occupational scheme. An individual trustee or manager who fails to discharge their liability for the pension credit within the implementation period will be required, except in prescribed cases, to notify the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) of that fact. We intend that where all such steps as are reasonable have not been taken to discharge the liability for the pension credit timeously, then the trustee or manager concerned may be subject to a fine of up to £1,000 by OPRA, and that a fine of up to £10,000 for a corporate offence may be imposed. These fines will be consistent with the penalties for failing to pay an early leaver transfer value on time.

Subsection (3): the purpose of this subsection is to enable OPRA to fine the trustees or managers of an occupational pension scheme if they fail to notify OPRA of their failure to discharge their liability for the pension credit within the implementation period (as required under subsection (2)). We intend that the fines should be consistent with those outlined in subsection (2).

Subsection (4) makes provisions similar to those in section 99(4) of the Pension Schemes Act (as amended by paragraph 6(c) of Schedule 6 to the Pensions Act 1995).

We intend that the circumstances in which OPRA may extend the implementation period for an occupational scheme to discharge its liability for a pension credit should be similar to those set out in regulation 13 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Transfer Values) Regulations, for example, if the scheme is being wound up, or about to be wound up, or where the interests of the other members would be prejudiced if the liability is discharged, or the trustees have insufficient information to discharge the liability properly.

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