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Act 12, 1988 (XII) – Act anent Amendment of Pensions Regulations. 25th May 1988.

A. The General Assembly note and accept the changes made necessary in the present Pension Schemes by National legislation as follows:

(1) Membership is to be voluntary. (However, as the Schemes confer considerable benefits on a non-contributory basis, this is unlikely to affect membership).

(2) Preserved pensions, already partially ‘inflation-proofed’ are to be available after 2 years (previously 5 years) qualifying service and the requirement of having attained age 26 is removed. However, as a consequence ‘qualifying service’ should be redefined as not commencing before attainment of age 20.

(3) Transfer values, calculated on actuarial principles, are to be provided as an option to preserved pensions. (Transfer values are capital sums which can only be applied in specified ways to secure future pension benefits).

(4) An Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme, for which the 1985 General Assembly passed enabling legislation, is to be provided, with some alterations to that enabling legislation now necessary.

B. The General Assembly approve, subject to Inland Revenue agreement as to content and timing, the following detailed changes to the present Pension Schemes:

(1) In Act IV of Commission of Assembly, March 1982, Pension Scheme for Ministers etc.

(i) Paragraph 4 shall be amended to read:

“The amount of pension provided under paragraph 3 shall be abated by one half of the additional part of the State pension insofar as that one half is attributable to the contributions made by the Church for the purpose of that additional part of the State pension during the period of qualifying service of a person to whom these regulations apply”.

(ii) Paragraph 8(a) shall be amended by deleting the words “one and three quarters times” and substituting therefor the words “two and a half times” and by adding at the end the words: “save that in the case of a person to whom (i) above applies dying after having attained the minimum retiring age, the cash payment shall be restricted to one and threequarters times the sum specified in sub-paragraph (b) below”.

(iii) Paragraph 9(c) shall be amended to read:

“In the event of a person to whom these regulations apply dying, the Church may, at its discretion, (i) augment to such extent as it thinks fit any pension payable as a result by the Churches and Universities (Scotland) Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund

(ii) where such pension is not payable, pay an equivalent pension as if such person had been a member of the said Fund, augmented as provided in (i) above:

Provided that such payment and augmentation shall in no case prejudice the approval of this Scheme under Chapter II, Part II of the Finance Act 1970, of any statutory modification or reenactment thereof for the time being in force”.

(2) In Act IV of Commission of Assembly, March 1982, Pension Scheme for Office etc. Staff,

(i) Paragraph 5 shall be amended to read:

“The amount of the pension provided under paragraph 4 shall be abated by one half of the additional part of the State pension insofar as that one half is attributable to the contributions made by the Church for the purpose of that additional part of the State pension during the period of qualifying service of a person to whom these regulations apply”.

(ii) Paragraph 9(a) shall be amended by deleting the words, “one and three quarters times” and substituting therefor the words “two and one half times”.

(iii) The following new paragraph shall be added between existing paragraphs 9 and 10:

“9A. Discretionary Benefit to Widows, etc.

“In the event of a person to whom these regulations apply dying, the Church may, at its discretion, pay an equivalent pension in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 9(e) (as amended) of the Pension Scheme for Ministers, etc. (Act IV of Commission of Assembly 1982), augmented as indicated therein:

Provided that such payment and augmentation shall in no case prejudice the approval of this Scheme under Chapter II, Part II, of the Finance Act 1970, or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof for the time being in force.

C. The General Assembly approve in principle the proposal that the Pension Schemes should in future be properly funded rather than conducted on the present day “Pay-as-you-Go” basis. They recognise that full funding of pension obligations is a long-term aim but instruct that arrangements can be made as soon as possible for future pension obligations to be partially funded, bearing in mind the substantial additional cost to the Church and the minimum level of funding required to ensure the viability of such arrangements.

D. The General Assembly also approve the intention to arrange a Contracted-out Money Purchase Scheme to give Pension Scheme members the option to contract out of the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme.