Irish Pensions Authority to consult stakeholders on 2022 fee increase

Ireland’s Pensions Authority has said it will consult with stakeholders on an increase in fees for occupational pension schemes in 2022.

In an announcement, the Pensions Authority said there would be no increase in fees in 2021. However, it has discussed with the Minister and Department of Social Protection the increasing cost of pensions supervision.

“It is therefore expected that fees for occupational schemes will increase in 2022, and it is planned to consult with relevant stakeholders as part of this process,” the authority stated. The same will also apply to personal retirement savings accounts (PRSAs).

Occupational pension schemes, trust retirement annuity contracts (trust RACs) and PRSA providers are all subject to fees payable to the Pensions Authority.

Currently, for occupational pension schemes where the total number of active members is 500 or less the annual fee is €8 for each member. Where the total number of active members is between 500 and 1,000 the annual fee is €4,000 in total and where there are more than 1,000 active members, the annual fee is €4 per member. The fees were set at this rate in 2011.

Commenting, Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) CEO, Jerry Moriarty, said: “We welcome the intention to consult with stakeholders. The cost of regulation is already significant for occupational schemes and has been significantly added to over the last year by new European Central Bank (ECB) reporting requirements. The introduction of IORP II requirements will also add more costs to Irish schemes with new function holders having to be appointed and many more schemes having to produce audited accounts as one example.

“There is a real danger these additional costs will cause employers to cease pension provision or reduce their contributions. This will not be good for member outcomes. The Pensions Authority also holds reserves of almost €8m that has been built up from fees in the past so we would expect those to be used when looking at the increased cost of regulation.”

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