Irish pension schemes ‘waiting to see detail’ on IORP II

Irish pension schemes are “waiting to see the detail” before making any preparations for the transposition of the European Union’s IORP II Directive, Irish Association of Pensions Funds (IAPF) defined contribution committee member, Caroline Rowan, has said.

Speaking at the IAPF’s DC conference yesterday, 16 September, Rowan said: “We have an idea of what’s coming down the tracks, we’ve seen The Pensions Authority’s guidance around IORP II but the fact is that most schemes are reluctant to really commit time and resources to developing the functions and the policies that are going to be needed when we don’t know the precise detail of how it’s going to be implemented here in Ireland.

“Particularly when those resources and times could be used elsewhere to support member outcomes,” she said. However, that does not mean that IORP II is not at the forefront of schemes’ minds.

“I don’t think there’s a meeting that goes by that IORP II isn’t mentioned…the focus is sharpening on it now because we’re reasonably confident that we’re going to have something by the end of the year,” Rowan added.

She said schemes are going to start preparing a gap analysis to see what it is they need to focus on. She recommended schemes have conversations with their providers to see what it’s going to cost.

Also speaking on the panel, IAPF DC Committee member, Ian Devlin, said some of the schemes he is aware of that have undertaken gap analyses earlier in the year found that they could not really do much to prepare as it depends on getting the detail of the legislation.

“It’s been a ‘wait and see’ largely since then. I suppose what has happened this year in terms of the authority’s engagement programme with master trusts and the largest DC schemes has brought it more onto the agenda. It’s a recognition that the authority is kind of stepping into that more forward-looking risk-based regulation before IORP II is transposed.”

On when we can expect more detail, IAPF CEO, Jerry Moriarty said: “We do expect legislation this year, we do get asked about IORP II a lot, particularly on event feedback. I know trustees are looking for more detail on it. It’s obviously very difficult to provide more detail without seeing that legislation.” However, he believes legislation is “imminent” at this stage.

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