Rule

Description

A.1(4)

Agree pension age other than 60.

The Scheme Manager would normally exercise this discretion where a group of staff were being transferred into the Civil Service or schedule 1 body. The discretion would be exercised in conjunction with rule F.13. The purpose of exercising the discretion is to ensure transferring staff have comparable pension rights when they join the Civil Service.

The Scheme Manager could exercise discretion where an employer wanted to recruit someone with specialist skills. However, an employer would have to make a very robust business case for the Scheme Manager to agree a pension age lower than 60.

A.2(2)(b), A.2(3)(a), A.3(1)

Remuneration counting as pensionable:

  • Employers need approval from the Scheme Manager for a new permanent allowance to be treated as pensionable. 
  • Bonuses and allowances not paid on a permanent basis can only be treated as pensionable if the employer gets approval from the Scheme Manager. 
  • Where a person is on an unpaid absence, in some circumstances their pension benefits are calculated by using assumed pay. Assumed pay normally replicates the pension they received before they started their unpaid absence. The Scheme Manager may increase the amount of pay if the employer gives good reasons for doing so.

A.3(2)(e)

Unpaid leave counting as reckonable.

The employer may ask the Scheme Manager to count as reckonable a period of unpaid leave. The Scheme Manager would only agree to the absence reckoning in exceptional circumstances.

B.1(5)(d)

Exceptionally allow premium membership.

The Scheme Manager may agree to a person joining premium. This discretion would normally be exercised as part of a bulk transfer of staff and where TUPE terms apply.

However, there may be some rare circumstances for example on re-employment where the Scheme Manager may exercise the discretion on an individual basis. Employers would need to make a robust business case as this would be exceptional treatment.

B.1A(2)(a)

Allow former by analogy staff to join premium.

Where a person leaves an analogous scheme and joins the Civil Service within 28 days, the Scheme Manager may agree that the person joins premium.

B.5(5) and B.5(5A)

Opting back in, effective date.

Where a person who has had a partnership account decides to become an active member, their option is effective from the first day of the first pay period after the period of two months beginning with the date on which the option is exercised. Where a person who had not had a partnership pension account decides to become an active member, their option is effective from the first day of the first pay period after the date on which the option is exercised. However, in exceptional circumstances the Scheme Manager may allow such options to become effective earlier.

Please note: the effective date where a person who had a partnership pension account decides to become an active member of premium, was amended with effect from January 2018 (as detailed in EPN518). The premium rules, as stated, will be updated to reflect this change at a future date.

B.6(3) and B.6(4)

Opting out effective date.

Where an active member decides to opt out of the scheme, their option is effective from the first day of the first pay period after the date on which the option is exercised. Where an active member decides to join a partnership pension account, their option is effective from the first day of the first pay period after the period of two months beginning with the date on which the option is exercised. However, in exceptional circumstances the Scheme Manager may allow such options to become effective earlier.

Please note: the effective date where an active member decides to join partnership, was amended with effect from January 2018 (as detailed in EPN518). The premium rules, as stated, will be updated to reflect this change at a future date.

C.2A(2)(a)

Employer contributions.

An employer can ask the Scheme Manager to allow them to pay the member’s contributions. This would be for example where the Scheme Manager has agreed that an unpaid absence may reckon, see rule A.3 (2) (e).

C.11(1), (2) and C.11(2A)

Employer buying added years on behalf of a member.

There may be exceptional circumstances where an employer may wish to buy added years (reckonable service) for a member. Employers will need to make a business case to the Scheme Manager. If the Scheme Manager agrees the proposal, they will also decide the cost of the added years.

C.1.5(1), (3)(a)

Employer wishes to buy added pension for a member.

A third party may wish to buy added pension for a member.

This is normally where the member has given time to Voluntary Service Overseas. In return, that organisation buys added pension for the member.

D.3(3)(d)(ii) and M.1(1)(a)

Determining if a scheme is analogous.

This is for the purpose of rule B.1A (2) (a) above.

D.7A(1)

Exceptional treatment for those whose pay has been reduced due to restructuring.

Members whose pay has reduced may have their pension calculated in a way that gives their accrued pension rights some protection. It is for the Scheme Manager to decide if the circumstances of the pay restructuring merit this treatment.

E.1(3)

Withhold adult dependants’ pension where there is a death bed marriage.

The Scheme Manager may decide not to pay an adult dependants pension if the couple married less than six months before the member’s death.

F.13 and F.14

Special terms for compulsory transfer of employment

The Scheme Manager may vary the application of the scheme rules where a group of staff are being bulk transferred into the Civil Service or schedule 1 body. This is to ensure that the scheme offers comparable terms to the sending scheme. Normally the Actuaries involved in the transfer terms will identify which areas require a Scheme Manager decision.

H.5

Disapply abatement.

The pension of a member who is re-employed in the scheme is normally subject to abatement. In exceptional circumstances, the Scheme Manager may decide that abatement will not apply or apply to a lesser extent. The rule specifically refers to ‘special circumstance’ so an employer would have to make a robust business case.

J.3

Forfeiture.

  • Where a member has been convicted of offences under the Official Secrets Act that results in imprisonment of 10 or more years, the Minister may withhold pension benefits. 
  • If the Minister decides that a member has committed an offence connected to their employment which has been gravely injurious to the State or resulted in a loss of confidence in the public service, their pension benefits can be withheld. The Scheme Manager decides the extent to which the member’s benefits are forfeit. 
  • A proportion of the member’s benefits may be withheld where they have a monetary obligation to their employer. This monetary obligation must be the result of their criminal,   negligent or fraudulent act or omission.
Published:
21 December 2021
Last updated:
21 December 2021