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Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Section 35: Short service benefit for scheme member with money purchase benefits

This section provides that where all of the benefits to be provided by a scheme are money purchase benefits, there will be an entitlement to a ‘short service benefit’ immediately after a member has completed thirty days’ qualifying membership of the scheme (section 35(1), (2) and (3)).

The effect of the section is that, in such cases, the ability to make a refund of contributions (“short service refund”) to members who give up their membership within two years will no longer be available under section 97AB of the Pension Schemes Act, because the member will have accrued rights to benefit under the scheme. Such a person will, however, still have the right to ask the occupational pension scheme to transfer the value of his pension to another pension provider under Chapter 4 of Part 4 of that Act.

This will only apply to those who first become active members of a scheme after this section comes into force, and those members who re-joined the scheme after that date having had a previous period of pensionable service under the scheme and who received a contribution refund or a cash transfer sum (section 35(3)).

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