Irish govt makes amendments to Pensions Act, 1990; Pensions Authority details changes

The Irish government has made various amendments to the Pensions Act, 1990, which the Pensions Authority has published guidance on.

The amended regulations were signed by the Minister for Social Protection on 25 November 2021. The regulations make amendments to existing regulations under the Pensions Act 1990, as amended (the Act), in relation to disclosure, scheme registration, trustee investment qualifications, funding standard, cross-border requirements, and bulk transfers; and revoke and replace the existing investment-related regulations under the Act.

In response, the Pensions Authority has published an information note summarising the main changes. In regard to occupational pension schemes (disclosure of information) regulations, the amendments include the scrapping of the Annual Benefit Statement and, for DC schemes, the statement of reasonable projection provisions; these will no longer apply once a scheme makes the first Pension Benefit Statement (PBS) available to members in accordance with regulations 31 to 37 of the European Union (Occupational Pension Schemes) Regulations 2021 (the 2021 Regulations).

These provisions require schemes that commenced on or before 22 April 2021 to make the first PBS available by 31 December 2022. One-member arrangements (OMAs) which commenced on or before 22 April 2021 must make the first PBS available from 22 April 2026. Pay-as-you-go schemes will continue to provide the ABS.

Furthermore, the exemptions for OMAs in respect of audited accounts and valuation reports (for DC schemes) have been removed. Transitional measures are inserted so that the requirements apply to OMAs commenced on or before 22 April 2021, in line with the transitional measures applied to these schemes in relation to annual reports.

The note also covers the main changes to the investment regulations for occupational pension schemes, which has seen the existing investment regulations revoked in full and replaced by two new sets of regulations. The authority has also provided information on several other areas of the act that have seen amendments.

The full list of changes is detailed here.

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