Lorcan is Head of the Pensions team at Matheson. Having gained extensive pensions law experience at leading firms in both Ireland and UK, Lorcan advises on all aspects of the establishment and operation of Irish pension arrangements, including defined benefit schemes and master trusts. His clients include a broad mix of employers across various industries, pension scheme trustees, and pension service providers. He has particular expertise in the areas of:
- restructuring and winding-up of defined benefit schemes
- establishment of master trusts, and transitioning of employer established defined contribution schemes into master trusts
- IORP II and Code of Practice governance requirements
- liability and risk management exercises, including enhanced transfer value exercises, and annuity buy-in and buy-outs
- pensions disputes
- pensions implications of corporate transactions and group restructurings
Lorcan is currently a Council Member and Secretary of the Irish Association of Pension Funds, the main industry body in Ireland representing pension savers.
- Advised a large financial service provider on the establishment of a defined contribution master trust, including advising on the process for obtaining Revenue and Pensions Authority approval, governance arrangements, and capital reserve requirements.
- Advised the trustees of a defined benefit scheme on a proposal to buy-out the scheme's pensioner liabilities through the purchase of a bulk annuity policy. Advice including reviewing and negotiating the benefit specification and annuity terms, and advising the trustees in respect of the impact of buy-out on the exercise of their discretionary powers under the scheme.
- Advising on the pensions implications of a restructuring of an Irish semi-state body into separate entities, entailing the establishment of replacement defined benefit and defined contribution schemes with complex benefit structures, and related amendments to the terms of the body's existing arrangements.
- Advised the trustees of a defined contribution pension scheme on measures required to address the historic underpayment of contributions to the scheme. This included advising on the extent of the trustees duties and powers to correct these issues, and potential whistleblowing obligations.
- Advising the trustees and sponsors of various defined contribution pension schemes on the process of winding-up those schemes and the transitioning of benefits to master trusts. This included advising on:
- the respective roles and obligations of the employer and trustees;
- the terms of the master trust and negotiations with the master trust provider on participation agreement terms;
- negotiation of transfer agreements and pre-funding agreements with the trustees / founder of the master trust;
- process of ensuring the effective completion of the winding-up of the existing scheme.
- Advising a multinational employer on the winding-up of a legacy Irish defined benefit pension scheme, including advising on:
- the process by which the employer terminates liability and triggers the winding-up of the scheme; and
- negotiations with trustees in respect of the winding-up and the potential issuing of a contribution demand by the trustees.
- Advising the trustees of a defined benefit scheme on a proposal from the scheme's sponsoring employer to close the scheme to future benefit accrual. This included advising on an "accrued rights restriction" under the terms of the scheme, and the extent to which this impacted on a proposal to remove salary linkage.
- Advising the trustees of a defined benefit pension scheme operated by a multinational employer on the merger of the scheme with another defined benefit scheme, operated by the multinational in Ireland. This included advising on:
- the respective terms and "balance of powers" under the two schemes;
- negotiations with the employer and trustees on the merger terms;
- the process of transferring the assets and liabilities into the merged scheme;
- member communications relating to the merger.
Lorcan is listed in the 2023 Who's Who Legal: Pensions & Benefits
Lorcan is currently ranked by Chambers Europe and has been for the past 5 years.
"Lorcan Keenan is very pragmatic and his advice is very clear and concise."
Employment: Pensions: Chambers Europe 2023
"He is knowledgeable and possesses great project management skills. He is also responsive and easy to work with."
Employment: Pensions: Chambers Europe 2023
University College Dublin (Bachelor Business and Legal Studies)
Trinity College Dublin (Masters in Law)
Qualified as a solicitor in Ireland
Qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales