Any period of industrial action will not count towards membership in the Scheme and no employer or member contributions are payable during this time.
If a member wishes to cover the ‘lost’ pension for the period of industrial action they may do so through an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) contract either over a period of time or as a one-off lump sum. There is no employer contribution towards the cost unless the employer chooses to do so. There is no longer a limit of 30 days following the end of the recognised trade dispute for the member to decide to cover the ‘lost’ pension.
During any period of absence due to a trade dispute any pre-existing APC / SCAPC contracts remain payable. Although the employee is in receipt of no pay for the period of the industrial action, the employer contributions to a SCAPC remain payable. The employee payments that were due to an APC or SCAPC should be deducted if there is enough pay in the period from which to deduct the payment. Otherwise, the employee payment that was due will rollover as a debt to be recovered from pay upon return to work.
Any pre-existing AVC / SCAVC contracts remain payable (unless the member, or the employer in the case of a SCAVC, elects to end the contract) for so long as there is enough pay to cover them. Any member paying AVCs for additional life assurance cover will have to make arrangements to continue to pay the life assurance AVCs during any period when there is not enough pay to cover them, if they do not want their AVC life assurance to lapse.
Any existing part-time buy-back, ARCs and added years contracts must continue to be paid.
|Action for employers||Timescale|
|Employers should inform those members who are absent due to industrial action of their right to purchase the amount of pension ‘lost’ during the period. They should also be advised of the implications of not opting to pay the contributions: |
|Complete the Service Break Return Spreadsheet SS35 in respect of any members who are subject to the underpin or the 85-year rule and forward to NILGOSC||Within 10 working days of the end of the Industrial Action|
|Ensure that APC/SCAPC contracts are treated correctly||n/a|
|Pre-existing AVC / SCAVC contracts remain payable||n/a|
|Any pre-existing part-time buy-back contracts must continue to be paid||n/a|
Refer to section 6.5 of the Employer Guide for more information.