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Pension Schemes Act 2015

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Northern IrelandU.K.

71Restriction on transfers out of unfunded public service defined benefits schemes: Northern IrelandU.K.

(1)The Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 is amended as follows.

(2)In section 91(2), after “occupational pension scheme” insert “ that is not an unfunded public service defined benefits scheme ”.

(3)In section 91, after subsection (2) insert—

(2A)In the case of a member of an occupational pension scheme that is an unfunded public service defined benefits scheme, the ways referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a)for acquiring transfer credits allowed under the rules of another occupational pension scheme if—

(i)the benefits that may be provided under the other scheme by virtue of the transfer credits are not flexible benefits,

(ii)the trustees or managers of the other scheme are able and willing to accept payment in respect of the member's transferrable rights, and

(iii)the other scheme satisfies requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel;

(b)for acquiring rights allowed under the rules of a personal pension scheme if—

(i)the benefits that may be provided under the personal pension scheme by virtue of the acquired rights are not flexible benefits,

(ii)the trustees or managers of the personal pension scheme are able and willing to accept payment in respect of the member's transferrable rights, and

(iii)the personal pension scheme satisfies requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel;

(c)for purchasing from one or more insurers such as are mentioned in section 15(4)(a), chosen by the member and willing to accept payment on account of the member from the trustees or managers, one or more annuities which satisfy requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel;

(d)for subscribing to other pension arrangements which satisfy requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel.

(2B)The Department of Finance and Personnel may by regulations provide for sub-paragraph (i) of subsection (2A)(a) or (b) not to apply in specified circumstances or in relation to specified schemes or schemes of a specified description.

(2C)In subsections (2) and (2A) “unfunded public service defined benefits scheme” means a public service pension scheme that—

(a)is a defined benefits scheme within the meaning given by section 34 of the Public Service Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, and

(b)meets some or all of its liabilities otherwise than out of a fund accumulated for the purpose during the life of the scheme.

(4)After section 91(5) insert—

(5A)Except in such circumstances as may be prescribed in regulations made by the Department or the Department of Finance and Personnel, subsection (2A) is to be construed as if paragraph (d) were omitted.

(5)In section 91(6)—

(a)after “subsections (2)” insert “ , (2A) ”;

(b)after “subsection (2)” insert “ or (2A) ”.

(6)In section 92 (further provisions concerning exercise of option under section 91), in subsection (2)(b), after “subsection (2)” insert “ , subsection (2A) ”.

(7)In section 96 (withdrawal of applications), in subsection (2), after “subsection (2)” insert “ , subsection (2A) ”.

(8)The amendments made by this section have no effect in relation to an application made under section 91 of the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 before 6 April 2015.

(9)Until the coming into force of the first regulations made under a provision of the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 specified in the first column of the table, regulations made under the provision of that Act specified in the corresponding entry in the second column apply (with any necessary modifications) for the purposes of the provision specified in the first column—

New provision of ActExisting provision of Act
Section 91(2A)(a)(iii)Section 91(2)(a)(ii)
Section 91(2A)(b)(iii)Section 91(2)(b)(ii)
Section 91(2A)(c)Section 91(2)(c)
Section 91(2A)(d)Section 91(2)(d)
Section 91(5A)Section 91(5)(a).

Commencement Information

I1S. 71 wholly in force; s. 71(1)-(7) in force at Royal Assent for specified purposes; s. 71 in force so far as not already in force at 6.4.2015 see s. 89(1)(b)(3)(b)

72Reduction of cash equivalents: funded public service defined benefits schemes: Northern IrelandE+W+S

(1)The Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993 is amended as follows.

(2)In section 93 (calculation of cash equivalents), in subsection (1)—

(a)after “verified” insert

(a)”;

(b)at the end insert , and

(b)where a designation has been made under section 93A, in accordance with regulations under section 93B.

(3)After section 93 insert—

93ADesignation of funded public service defined benefits schemes

(1)The relevant Department may designate a funded public service defined benefits scheme as a scheme to which regulations under section 93B are to apply for a specified period of no more than 2 years.

(2)The power under subsection (1) may be exercised only if the relevant Department considers that—

(a)there is an increased likelihood of payments out of public funds, or increased payments out of public funds, having to be made into the scheme so that it can meet its liabilities, and

(b)the increased likelihood is connected with the exercise or expected future exercise of rights to take a cash equivalent acquired under section 90.

(3)The power under subsection (1) may be exercised in relation to the whole or any part of a scheme.

(4)In the application of subsection (2) to part of a scheme, paragraph (a) is to be read as if it referred to the scheme's liabilities relating to that part.

(5)A designation under subsection (1)—

(a)may be extended (on more than one occasion) for a period of no more than 2 years;

(b)may be revoked.

(6)The relevant Department must give notice in writing of a designation or its extension or revocation to the trustees or managers of the scheme (except in a case where the relevant Department is the trustees or managers).

(7)If the trustees or managers of a funded public service defined benefits scheme, or part of such a scheme, that is not designated under this section consider that the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) are met in relation to the scheme or part they must notify—

(a)the Department of Finance and Personnel, and

(b)(where relevant) each Northern Ireland department by whom, or with whose approval, the scheme was established.

(8)If the trustees or managers of a scheme, or part of a scheme, that is designated under this section consider that the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) are no longer met in relation to the scheme or part they must notify—

(a)the Department of Finance and Personnel, and

(b)(where relevant) each Northern Ireland department by whom, or with whose approval, the scheme was established.

(9)In this section—

  • funded public service defined benefits scheme” means a public service pension scheme that—

    (a)

    is a defined benefits scheme within the meaning given by section 34 of the Public Service Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, and

    (b)

    meets its liabilities out of a fund accumulated for the purpose during the life of the scheme;

  • local authority” means a district council constituted under section 1 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972;

  • payment out of public funds” means a payment provided directly or indirectly—

    (a)

    out of the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund, or

    (b)

    by a local authority;

  • the relevant Department”, in relation to a funded public service defined benefits scheme, means either of the following—

    (a)

    the Department of Finance and Personnel, or

    (b)

    any Northern Ireland department by whom, or with whose approval, the scheme was established.

(10)The Department of Finance and Personnel may by regulations make modifications of the definition of “the relevant Department” in subsection (9).

(4)After section 93A (inserted by subsection (3)) insert—

93BReduction of cash equivalents in case of section 93A designated schemes

(1)The Department of Finance and Personnel may by regulations provide that where, under section 91(1), a member of a designated scheme requires the trustees or managers to use a cash equivalent for acquiring a right or entitlement to flexible benefits under the rules of another pension scheme the cash equivalent must be reduced by an amount determined in accordance with the regulations.

(2)Regulations under subsection (1) may not require a reduction in cases where a scheme ceases to be a designated scheme before the date on which the trustees or managers do what is needed to carry out what the member requires.

(3)Regulations under subsection (1) may produce the result (alone or in conjunction with regulations under section 93) that the amount by which a cash equivalent is to be reduced is such an amount that a member has no right to receive anything.

(4)In subsection (1), “designated scheme” means a funded public service defined benefits scheme, or part of such a scheme, that (on the date of the application under section 91(1)) is designated under section 93A.

Commencement Information

I2S. 72 wholly in force; s. 72 in force at Royal Assent for specified purposes; s. 72 in force in so far as not already in force at 6.4.2015 see s. 89(1)(b)(3)(b)

73Sections 71 and 72: consequential amendmentsE+W+S

(1)In the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993, in section 176 (general interpretation), in subsection (1), in the definition of “regulations”, after “means” insert “ , unless the context otherwise requires, ”.

(2)In that Act, in section 181 (Assembly etc control of regulations and orders)—

(a)in subsection (2) (regulations and orders subject to confirmatory procedure), at the end insert “ and to regulations made by the Department of Finance and Personnel under section 93A(10) ”;

(b)in subsection (4) (regulations and orders subject to negative resolution), for “shall” substitute “ and regulations made by the Department of Finance and Personnel under section 91 or 93B shall ”.

(3)In the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/255 (N.I. 1)), in Article 14 (pension liberation: interpretation), in paragraph (4)(a) (meaning of “authorised way”), omit “subsection (2) or, as the case may be, subsection (3) of”.

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