On 31 May 2010, the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (SR 2010 No. 164) came into operation. These regulations affected Classroom Assistants who signed up to a Collective Agreement that changed their terms and conditions of employment, the main change being an increase in the whole-time equivalent hours from 32.50 per week to 36.00 per week.
To ensure that all classroom assistants’ benefits were not affected by their decision to sign up to the Collective Agreement, the Department of the Environment made regulations to allow NILGOSC to use an amended final pay calculation for all membership from 1 January 1995 to the date of the agreement. Classroom assistants who accepted the terms of the Collective Agreement will have two final pensionable pay figures calculated – one pay which is based on 32.5 hours per week and is used to calculate the benefits during the dates their protection applies (1 January 1995 to either 30 November 2007 or 6 February 2009) and one which is based on 36 hours per week and is used to calculate the benefits accrued before 1st January 1995 and after the dates of protection. Both pays produce identical benefits.
The Collective Agreement date for Classroom Assistants employed by the Education and Library Boards was 30 November 2007. The Collective Agreement date for Classroom Assistants employed by the Voluntary Grammar and Grant Maintained Integrated Schools was 6 February 2009.
NILGOSC notified all affected members of the introduction of the regulations by 31 August 2010 and tailored Annual Pension Forecasts were issued from September 2010.
Both communications explained the differences to the calculations and we will continue to issue these tailored forecasts to affected Classroom Assistants every year.