Judicial Pensions Act 1981

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1981 c. 20


Judicial Pensions Act 1981

1981 CHAPTER 20

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to pensions and other benefits payable in respect of service in judicial office, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.

[21st May 1981]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Rate of Pension

Part I

Rate of Pension

Chapter I

The Higher Judiciary

The Higher Judiciary

S-1 Interpretation.

1 Interpretation.

1. In this Chapter ‘high judicial office’ means any of the offices listed in the first column of the Table below, and ‘relevant service’, in relation to high judicial office, has the meaning given in the second column of that Table.

Table

Office

Relevant service

Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

Service as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary or as a judge of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, the Court of Session or the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland.

Office

Relevant service

Judge of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, other than the Lord Chancellor.

Service as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary or as any judge of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Judge of the Court of Session.

Service as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary or as any judge of the Court of Session.

Judge of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland

Service as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary or as any judge of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland.

S-2 Rate of pension.

2 Rate of pension.

(1) A holder of high judicial office on retirement from that office shall be entitled during his life to a pension at the annual rate provided by this section—

(a ) if he retires after 15 years relevant service or after he has attained the age of 70 years, or

(b ) if at the time of his retirement he is disabled by permanent infirmity from the performance of the duties of his office.

(2) The annual rate of the pension payable under this section to a person retiring from any office after 15 or more years relevant service shall be one half of his last annual salary.

(3) The annual rate of the pension payable under this section to a person retiring from any office after less than 15 years relevant service shall be—

(a ) if the period of relevant service does not amount to 6 years, one quarter of his last annual salary;

(b ) if the period amounts to 6 years or more, one quarter of that salary plus 1/40th of that salary for each completed year of service exceeding 5.

S-3 Former holder of office other than high judicial office.

3 Former holder of office other than high judicial office.

(1) This section applies to a holder of high judicial office who, immediately before his appointment to high judicial office, was the holder of any other of the judicial offices described in Part I of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 , being an office in respect of which pensions are payable in pursuance of this or any other public general Act or under any other enactment, scheme or arrangement approved for the purposes of this section by the Lord Chancellor.

(2) Where a person to whom this section applies retires from his office having qualified, otherwise than by retirement after attaining the age of 70 years, for a pension under this Chapter then if he so elects—

(a ) the amount of the pension which may be paid to him under this Chapter shall be an amount equal to the pension for which he would have been eligible if he had continued to serve in his former office until his retirement at the salary then payable to a holder of that office, and

(b ) any lump sum payable in his case under Part II of this Act shall be calculated as if his last annual salary were the salary payable at the date of his retirement to a holder of his former office.

(3) Where a person to whom this section applies dies while holding his office, and his legal personal representatives so elect, any derivative benefit payable in respect of him under Part II of this Act shall be calculated as if the pension for which he would have been eligible if he had retired at the time of his death were a pension of the amount described in subsection (2)(a ) above, and as if his last annual salary were the salary payable at the time of his death to a holder of his former office.

(4) An election under this section shall be made within the period of three months beginning with the retirement or death of the person by or in respect of whom it is made, and shall be made in writing addressed to the Minister.

S-4 Provision against double pensions.

4 Provision against double pensions.

4. Not more than one pension shall be paid to the same person under this Chapter, or under this Chapter and the Lord Chancellor's Pension Act 1832.

Chapter II

Other Judicial Offices

S-5 Circuit judge in England or Wales.

5 Circuit judge in England or Wales.

(1) A Circuit judge may on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor be granted a pension—

(a ) if he retires after 15 years service and at the time of his retirement he has attained the age of 65 years, or

(b ) if he vacates his office in accordance with section 17 of the Courts Act 1971 (age limit and removal on ground of incapacity or misbehaviour), or

(c ) if the Lord Chancellor is satisfied by means of a medical certificate that, by reason of infirmity of mind or body, he is incapable of discharging the duties of his office, and that the incapacity is likely to be permanent.

(2) The annual rate of a pension payable under this section to a person retiring after not less than 15 years service shall be one half of his last annual salary.

(3) The annual rate of a pension payable under this section to a person retiring after less than 15 years service shall be—

(a ) if the period of service does not amount to 5 years, 6/40ths of his last annual salary,

(b ) if the period of service amounts to 5 years or more, one quarter of that salary plus 1/40th for each completed year of service exceeding 5.

(4) If a person to whom a pension has been granted under this section (before he has attained the age of 72) in consequence of any such incapacity as is referred to in subsection (1)(c ) above resumes the duty of a Circuit judge, the payment of the pension shall be suspended during the period of his resumed service, but at the end of that period the pension shall again be payable and be recalculated in accordance with subsections (2) and (3) above, and for that purpose the period of his resumed service shall be added to the period of his former service.

(5) In this section ‘service’ means service as a Circuit judge.

(6) A pension under this section shall be payable at such intervals, not exceeding three months, as the Minister may determine.

S-6 Sheriffs in Scotland.

6 Sheriffs in Scotland.

6. For sheriffs in Scotland pensions shall be payable in accordance with the Sheriffs' Pensions (Scotland) Act 1961.

S-7 Stipendiary magistrates in England and Wales.

7 Stipendiary magistrates in England and Wales.

(1) A stipendiary magistrate in England or Wales may on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor be granted a pension if he retires after not less than 5 years service, and—

(a ) at the time of his retirement he has attained the age of 65, or

(b ) the Lord Chancellor is satisfied by means of a medical certificate that by reason of infirmity of mind or body he is incapable of discharging the duties of his office, and that the incapacity is likely to be permanent.

(2) The annual rate of a pension payable under this section to a person retiring after not less than 20 years service shall not exceed one half of his last annual salary.

(3) The annual rate of a pension payable under this section to a person retiring after less than 20 years service shall not exceed—

(a ) if the period of service amounts to less than 10 years (but not less than 5), 15/80ths of his last annual salary plus 1/80th for each completed year of service exceeding 5,

(b ) if the period of service amounts to not less than 10 years (but less than 20), one quarter of that salary plus 2/80ths for each completed year of service after the first 10 years.

(4) A person to whom a pension is granted under this section on retirement on a medical certificate shall, until he attains the age of 65, be liable to be called upon to fill any public office or situation under the Crown in the United Kingdom for which his previous public services may render him eligible; and if he declines, when called upon to do so, to take upon him such office or situation, or declines or neglects to execute the duties thereof satisfactorily, being in a competent state of health, he shall forfeit his right to the pension which has been granted to him.

(5) Any sums payable on account of a pension under this section shall be paid at such times in each year as the Minister may determine.

(6) In this section ‘service’ means service as a stipendiary magistrate in England or Wales.

S-8 Judge Advocate General: choice between civil service scheme and special provision.

8 Judge Advocate General: choice between civil service scheme and special...

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