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Pensions Update

AUTHOR(S): Deirdre Cummins
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Employment, Pensions and Benefits
DATE: 06.01.2017

In recent months the Pensions Authority published the second, third and fourth sets of the codes of governance for defined contribution pension schemes. It also issued its consultation document on the “Reform and simplification of supplementary funded private pensions” over the summer.

While the codes of governance for defined contribution pension schemes are not binding statements of law, they are designed to supplement the Authority’s Trustee Handbook and to help trustees meet the standards of practice which the Authority believes forms the basis of good governance. The first set of codes was published in January of 2016 and the full set of codes to date is as follows:

  • Governance plan of action;
  • Trustee meetings;
  • Managing conflicts of interest;
  • Collection and remittance of contributions;
  • Investing scheme assets;
  • Paying benefits;
  • Keeping records;
  • Data Protection;
  • Risk Management;
  • Member Communications;
  • Value for Money.

Pensions Authority Consultation

The Pensions Authority issued its consultation document on the “Reform and simplification of supplementary funded private pensions” on 18 July 2016. The Authority invited submissions from interested parties on or before 3 October 2016.

This wide ranging consultation on the future of Irish pensions regulation included proposals on:

  • the introduction of minimum experience and qualification requirements for trustee boards;
  • the introduction of a comprehensive scheme authorisation process to be completed in full prior to the commencement of a scheme;
  • the rationalisation of pensions vehicles;
  • the development of master trusts / multi-employer pension schemes.

We will provide a further update on this as the Pensions Authority responds to submissions. Separately, the IORPs II Directive was formally approved by the European Parliament in November and Ireland has two years to transpose the Directive from November 2016.

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