Employer discretions

Employers are required by the Scheme rules to formulate, publish and keep under review a written policy statement in relation to their discretions.

Employers are required by legislation to formulate, publish, and review a written policy statement in relation to the majority of the discretions under both the LGPS (NI) Scheme and the Compensation Regulations.

The LGPS (NI) regulations require employers to send a copy of their statement to NILGOSC within four months of joining the Scheme or within one month of making any revisions. An employer is required to have regard to the extent to which the exercise of any of the discretions could lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service.

The Compensation Regulations also require that policy is formulated, published, and reviewed and as well as having regard to the extent to which the exercise of any of the discretions could lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service, they must also be satisfied that the policy is workable, affordable, and reasonable having regard to the foreseeable costs.

  • Whether, how much, and in what circumstances to contribute to a shared cost APC scheme (regulation 18(2)(e) and 18(4)(d), Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 188))

  • Whether to consent to flexible retirement, for an employee aged 55 or over  who reduces hours or grade (regulation 31(6), Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 188)), and regulation 10(2), Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 189))

  • Whether to waive, in whole or in part, actuarial reductions on benefits paid on flexible retirement (regulation 31(8), Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 188)) and Paragraph 2(1A) of Schedule 3 to the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014 (SRNI 2014 No.189

  • Whether to waive, in whole or in part, actuarial reduction on benefits which a member voluntarily draws before normal pension age (regulation 31(8), Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 188))
  • Whether to “switch on” the 85 Year Rule for a member voluntarily drawing benefits on or after age 55 and before age 60 (Schedule 3, regulation 1(3), Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 189))

  • Whether to waive, on compassionate grounds, the actuarial reduction applied to benefits (pre-15/pre-16/pre-20 according to “Group” member status) where the employer has “switched-on” the 85 Year Rule for a member voluntarily drawing benefits on or after age 55 and before age 60 (Schedule 3, regulation 2(1), Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 189))

  • Whether to grant additional pension to an active member or within 6 months of ceasing to be an active member by reason of redundancy or business efficiency (by up to £7,163 p.a. (2021/22 figure)) (regulation 32, Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 (SRNI 2014 No. 188))

  • Regulations 16 and 18, Abatement of annual compensatory added years pension
  • Regulation 20(4), Survivor compensatory added years apportionment
  • Regulation 20(5), Annual compensation suspension rules
  • Regulation 20(9), Annual compensation suspension rules (reinstatement)
  • Regulation 18(16), Time limit for elections to cover lost pension due to a permitted absence
  • Regulation 19, Shared cost AVC
  • Regulation 24, Aggregating benefits (concurrent employments and deferred benefits)
  • Regulation 11, Determining contribution rates for employees
  • Regulation 23(5), Assumed Pensionable Pay, and determination of whether a lump sum that was received by the member was a regular lump sum
  • Regulation 23(5A) and (5B), whether to substitute a revised pensionable pay in calculating APP
  • Regulation 30(5), whether to waive on compassionate grounds any actuarial reduction when a member aged 55 or over voluntarily takes deferred benefits before normal retirement age.
  • Regulation 33(5), whether to waive on compassionate grounds any actuarial reduction when a member aged 55 or over voluntarily takes deferred benefits before normal retirement age.