Contributions

Following the 2019 triennial valuation of the Scheme, the actuary set the employer contribution rates for the three years from 1 April 2020. Due to uncertainty regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the funding of the Scheme at that time the actuary and the Committee reserved the right to review and increase the employer contributions for the years 2021/22 and 2022/23. Circular 08/2020 issued on 7 October 2020 advised employers that the contribution rates set by the actuary and stated in the Rates and Adjustments Certificate will apply for 2021/22 and 2022/23.  There will be no change from the rates certified.  

No. Once the actuary certifies the contributions for a year then they must be paid over in that year. NILGOSC provided all employers with the 2019 Valuation Report on 31 March 2020. This report included the actuary’s Rates and Adjustments Certificate that states the minimum contributions that are payable each Scheme year from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023. NILGOSC expects all employers to remit their monthly contributions as set out in the Employer Guide (Section 13.2), Pensions Administration Strategy (page 5) and Funding Strategy Statement (section 5.2.2). Any employers with financial difficulties should contact NILGOSC directly.

No. The Scheme is contributory. A member, in normal circumstances, must either pay contributions at their rate of pensionable pay while in the main section or they can elect to be in the 50/50 section and pay half the contributions and their pension will then build up at half the rate. Some members may find the 50/50 section helpful in cases of financial hardship rather than opting out. If a member wishes to stop paying into the Scheme they would have to opt out. They can obtain an opt-out form from the NILGOSC website.

No. Members can only make contributions to the Scheme in respect of their earnings from a Scheme employer.

No. In the Employer Guide (section 13.2) NILGOSC asks employers to pay over employer and employee contributions by the first working day of the month following the month to which the contributions relate. If a payment is received more than 10 days late then interest may be charged. By law employee contributions must be paid over by either the 22nd (where they are paid electronically) or the 19th of the month following the last day of the month in which the contributions were deducted. If an employer fails to pay over the contributions in time and NILGOSC has reasonable cause to believe that the failure is likely to be of material significance to the Pension Regulator then it is required to give notice to both the Regulator and the member.

NILGOSC may charge interest on the late payment at the rate of base rate plus one percent from the due date to the payment date with three monthly rests. If NILGOSC has reasonable cause to believe that the failure is likely to be of material significance to the Pension Regulator (tPR) then it must give a written report to tPR as soon as reasonably practicable.

No. NILGOSC’s Funding Strategy Statement (section 5.3.1) requires immediate payment of strain costs resulting from early retirements, augmentation of membership, additional pension and any other one-off strain costs.

Any employer in such a position should contact NILGOSC. If it appears likely that an employer may not be able to meet its obligations to the Scheme NILGOSC may seek Departmental approval to require the active members to cease future accrual. Once there are no active members, the employer will become an exiting employer, an exit valuation normally takes place and an exit payment is likely to be due. In some circumstances it may be possible to defer the exit valuation although employer contributions continue to be payable or to agree payment of the exit amount over a defined period.