Irish Pensions Authority concerned new OMAs are not complying with Pensions Act

The Irish Pensions Authority has concerns about the establishment of new one-member arrangements (OMAs) since April 2021 and whether those pension schemes are complying with the amended Pensions Act 1990.

In an update, the authority issued a further reminder to trustees of OMAs established on or after 22 April 2021 of the 1 July 2022 compliance deadline and set out its position on the continued establishment of non-compliant OMAs post 1 July.

The Pensions Act 1990 was amended in November 2021 to include the new requirements of the IORP II Directive and impose higher standards and requirements on Irish pension schemes.

The authority noted that many of the new OMAs have been established by insurance companies and that it had recently met with these companies to advise them of its concerns.

It advised insurance companies that the use of standardised trustee services and policies, key function holder appointments, and audited accounts replicated across a large portfolio of OMAs was unlikely to meet the compliance threshold.

The authority added that non-compliance of new OMAs “would not be tolerated” after 1 July and that enforcement action, up to and including prosecution, could be taken against the trustees responsible for running non-compliant OMAs.

After 1 July, the authority will conduct a series of inspections of OMAs set up on or after 22 April 2021.

Individuals or companies that are trustees of these pension schemes were advised to assess whether they were compliant with the obligations and to contact their financial adviser or insurance company if they had any questions.

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