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State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002

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State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002, Cross Heading: Retirement provision is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 31 October 2020. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Retirement provisionN.I.

Duty to specify assessed income period [F1for pre-6 April 2016 awards] N.I.

6.—(1) In any case falling within subsection (3) or (4) [F2where the relevant decision takes effect before 6 April 2016] , the Department shall, on the making of the relevant decision, specify a period as the assessed income period, unless prevented by subsection (2).

(2) The Department is prevented from specifying a period as the assessed income period under subsection (1)—

(a)if the relevant decision takes effect at a time when an assessed income period is in force in the case of the claimant by virtue of a previous application of this section; or

(b)in such other circumstances as may be prescribed.

(3) The first case is where—

(a)the Department determines the amount of a claimant's income for the purposes of a decision relating to state pension credit;

(b)the decision is a decision under Article 9(1), 10 or 11 of the 1998 Order (decisions by the Department and decisions revising or superseding decisions);

(c)the decision takes effect on or after—

(i)the day on which the claimant attains the age of 65; or

(ii)if earlier, in a case where the claimant is a member of a[F3 couple], the day on which the other member of the couple attains that age; and

(d)the decision is not to the effect that the claimant is not entitled to state pension credit.

(4) The second case is where—

(a)the amount of the claimant's income is determined on, or for the purposes of, an appeal against a decision that the claimant is not entitled to state pension credit;

(b)on the appeal, it is decided that the claimant is entitled to state pension credit; and

(c)the decision takes effect as mentioned in subsection (3)(c).

(5) In this section “the relevant decision” means—

(a)so far as relating to the first case, the decision mentioned in subsection (3)(a);

(b)so far as relating to the second case, the decision on appeal mentioned in subsection (4)(b).

(6) This section is subject to section 9.

(7) This section and sections 7 to 10 shall be construed as one.

Fixing of claimant's retirement provision for assessed income periodN.I.

7.—(1) This section applies where, pursuant to section 6(1), the Department on the making of the relevant decision specifies a period as the assessed income period.

(2) This section has effect for the purpose of determining, as at any time in the assessed income period,—

(a)the claimant's entitlement to state pension credit; or

(b)the amount of state pension credit to which the claimant is entitled.

(3) Where the claimant's income, as determined for the purposes of the relevant decision, includes an amount (the “assessed amount”) in respect of an element of the claimant's retirement provision, the amount of that element as at any time in the assessed income period shall be taken to be the assessed amount as for the time being varied in accordance with regulations under subsection (4).

(4) The assessed amount shall be deemed, except in prescribed circumstances,—

(a)to increase; or

(b)in the case of income from capital, to increase or decrease,

on such date or dates and by such amounts as may be prescribed.

(5) Where it is determined for the purposes of the relevant decision that the claimant's income does not include any, or any further, elements of retirement provision, the claimant's income throughout the assessed income period shall be taken not to include those elements.

(6) For the purposes of this Act “retirement provision” means income of any of the following descriptions—

(a)retirement pension income, other than benefit under [F4Part 1 of the Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 or] the Contributions and Benefits Act;

(b)income from annuity contracts (other than retirement pension income);

(c)income from capital,

[F5(d)PPF periodic payments,]

and an “element” of a person's retirement provision is income of any of those descriptions from a particular source.

(7) For the purposes of this section, regulations may make provision—

(a)for treating income of any particular description as income of another description; or

(b)for treating income from different sources as income from the same source.

(8) Nothing in subsections (3) to (5) prevents the revision under Article 10 of the 1998 Order of the relevant decision or of any earlier or later decision under Article 11 of that Order.

(9) This section is subject to section 8.

F4Words in s. 7(6)(a) inserted (6.4.2016 unless brought into operation earlier by an order under s. 53(1) of the amending Act) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c. 5), s. 53(3), Sch. 12 para. 39

F5S. 7(6)(d) added (14.2.2006) by S.R. 2006/37, art. 2, Sch. para. 3(2)

Fresh determination increasing claimant's entitlementN.I.

8.—(1) Subsections (3) to (5) of section 7 do not prevent the making of a fresh determination as to the elements, or any of the elements, or the amount of any of the elements, of the claimant's retirement provision as at any time during the assessed income period, if—

(a)the fresh determination is for the purpose of making a decision under Article 11 of the 1998 Order ( “the new decision”);

(b)the new decision increases the amount of state pension credit to which the claimant is entitled; and

(c)the increase is in whole or in part the result of any fresh determination.

(2) The conditions in paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) shall be taken to be satisfied if—

(a)the new decision reduces the amount of state pension credit to which the claimant is entitled; but

(b)the reduction is less than it would have been apart from any fresh determination.

(3) Where a fresh determination is made by virtue of subsection (1), then, as respects the part of the assessed income period that begins with (and includes) the day on which the new decision takes effect, subsections (3) to (5) of section 7 shall have effect in accordance with the fresh determination, instead of the determination which it replaces, but as if—

(a)the fresh determination were (and the determination which it replaces were not) a determination for the purposes of the relevant decision;

(b)any assessed amount resulting from the fresh determination were not subject to variation under subsection (4) of that section at any time before the day on which the new decision takes effect; and

(c)the claimant's income, as determined for the purposes of the relevant decision, were constituted accordingly.

Duration of assessed income periodN.I.

9.[F6(1) An assessed income period shall (subject to the following subsections) be—

(a)in the case of a claimant who is under the age of 75 on the day on which the relevant decision takes effect, the period of 5 years beginning with that day;

(b)in the case of a claimant who is aged 75 or over on that day, an indefinite period beginning with that day.]

(2) If the Department considers that the particulars of the claimant's retirement provision, as determined for the purposes of the relevant decision, are not likely, after taking account of any assumed variations under subsection (3), to be typical of the claimant's retirement provision throughout the period of 12 months beginning with (and including) the day on which that decision takes effect—

(a)it need not specify a period under section 6(1); and

(b)if it does so, it [F7shall specify a period that is shorter than 5 years] (but beginning as mentioned in subsection (1)).

(3) It shall be assumed for the purposes of subsection (2) that the same variations fall to be made in relation to the amount of an element of the claimant's retirement provision as determined for the purposes of the relevant decision as would fall to be made under section 7(4) if an assessed income period were to be specified in accordance with subsection (1).

(4) An assessed income period shall, except in prescribed circumstances, end at any time at which—

(a)the claimant becomes a member of a[F8 couple];

(b)the claimant ceases to be a member of a[F8 couple];

(c)the claimant attains the age of 65; or

(d)in a case where the claimant is a member of a[F8 couple], the other member of the couple attains the age of 65.

(5) Regulations may prescribe further times at which, or circumstances in which, an assessed income period shall end.

[F9(6) Where—

(a)an assessed income period is brought to an end[F10, on or after 6 April 2009 but before 6 April 2014,] by the expiry of a period of 5 years or more, and

(b)the claimant is aged 80 or over at that time,

the assessed income period shall be treated as not ending at that time but, subject to subsection (4) and provision made under subsection (5), as continuing indefinitely.]

F7Words in s. 9(2)(b) substituted (6.4.2009) by Pensions (No. 2) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 13), ss. 84(3), 118(4) (with s. 84(5))

F9S. 9(6) added (temp. from 6.4.2009 to 6.4.2014) by Pensions (No. 2) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 13), ss. 84(4), 118(4) (with s. 84(6))

F10Words in s 9(6)(a) inserted (24.6.2015) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c. 5), s. 28(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 9(6) restored (24.06.2015) by Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c.5), ss. 28(1), 53(2)(b)

Effect of variations under section 7(4)N.I.

10.—(1) This section applies where—

(a)an assessed income period is in force; and

(b)there is an alteration in an element of the claimant's retirement provision which affects the computation of the amount of state pension credit to which the claimant is entitled.

(2) Where, as a result of the alteration, the amount of state pension credit to which the claimant is entitled is increased or reduced, then, as from the commencing date, the amount of state pension credit payable in the case of the claimant shall be the increased or reduced amount, without any further decision of the Department (and the award of state pension credit shall have effect accordingly).

(3) Where, notwithstanding the alteration, the claimant continues on and after the commencing date to be entitled to the same amount of state pension credit as before, the award shall continue in force accordingly.

(4) In this section—

  • “alteration” means a variation in the amount of an element of the claimant's retirement provision in accordance with regulations under section 7(4);

  • “commencing date”, in relation to an alteration, means the date on which the alteration comes into force.

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