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Waterford Institute of Technology Business Students Friday 21 March 2014 “Pensions regulation in Ireland” David Malone Head of Operations and Communications PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Waterford Institute of Technology Business Students Friday 21 March 2014 “Pensions regulation in Ireland” David Malone Head of Operations and Communications The Pensions Authority. Pensions Authority Established by the Pensions Act, 1990 . Pillar 1: State pension

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Waterford Institute of Technology Business Students Friday 21 March 2014 “Pensions regulation in Ireland” David Malone Head of Operations and Communications

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Waterford institute of technology business students friday 21 march 2014 pensions regulation in ireland david malone head of operations and communications

Waterford Institute of Technology

Business Students

Friday 21 March 2014

“Pensions regulation in Ireland”

David Malone

Head of Operations and Communications

The Pensions Authority


Pensions authority established by the pensions act 1990

Pensions AuthorityEstablished by the Pensions Act, 1990


Pensions system in ireland

Pillar 1: State pension

Contributory pension of maximum of €230.30 per week = 35% of average earnings (Non-statutory political commitment to maintain at this level)

Means-tested non-contributory pension of €219 per week

Aim is essentially one of poverty prevention

Pillar 2: Occupational pension schemes

Employer sponsored DB and DC schemes

Operate on a funded basis (private sector) and pay-as you go basis (public service)

Pillar 3: Personal pensions

Personal pension vehicles

Includes Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) and Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs)

Total of pillars 2 and 3 pension fund assets = 45% of GDP - but account for just 25% of retirement income

75% rely on the State pension

Pensions system in Ireland


Types of private pensions

Types of private pensions


Supplementary pension provision in ireland as at 31 december 2013

Supplementary pension provision in Ireland (as at 31 December 2013)

  • Defined benefit – 572,681 members in 1,040 defined benefit schemes

    - 933 schemes with 189,644 members are subject to the Funding Standard

    - 107 schemes with 338,037 Public Service employees (full and part-time)

  • Defined contribution - 232,939 members in 60,192 schemes

  • Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs)

    206,936 PRSAs with asset value of €3.46 billion

  • Personal Pension Plans/Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs)

    (200,000 + contracts – Irish Insurance Federation)


Pensions coverage in the irish workforce

Pensions Coverage in the Irish Workforce


Defined benefit schemes

Defined benefit schemes

During 2013 the investment environment for pensions continued to improve however, there has been

no overall improvement in the position of many defined benefit schemes.

Here are some current details:

  • 291 schemes were due to submit a funding proposal to the Authority by or after 30 June 2013

  • since 30 June 2013:

    • 103 schemes have submitted a funding proposal

    • 123 schemes have not submitted a proposal (41 of these have advised they are going to wind up)

  • of the remaining 65

    • 25 have submitted a positive AFC.

    • 3 schemes have advised that they will be submitting a positive AFC.

    • 37 schemes have gone into wind-up or have wound up.

  • since 1 January 2013

    • 96 schemes have commenced wind up or have wound up.


National pensions policy

National Pensions Policy

The recommendations include :

  • increasing the State pension age to 66 in 2014, 67 in 2021, 68 in 2028

  • new model defined benefit pension scheme

  • new model scheme for public servants

  • introducing auto-enrolment into a pension for those aged 22 years or over and in employment from 2014


Background to db funding standard changes since 2012

Background to DB Funding Standard changes since 2012

  • Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2012 and 2013

  • Statutory Guidance

  • Regulations


Funding standard reserve

Funding Standard Reserve

When does it apply?

  • Schemes must check whether they hold FSR from 1 June 2012 and submit certificates from that date.

  • Schemes must hold FSR from 1 January 2016 and if they don’t they must file Funding Proposal (FP) but

    • If FP end date after 1 January 2016, FP must

    • anticipate holding FSR

    • If Section 50 sought, scheme must satisfy FSR immediately (or at end of FP period)


Funding standard reserve1

Funding Standard Reserve

Amount:

  • 10% of funding standard liabilities less EU sovereign bonds/cash held plus

  • effect on funding standard liabilities of ½% drop in interest rates less the amount by which resources would increase as a result of the same change


Funding standard reserve2

Funding Standard Reserve

When interest rates go down - bond asset values rise; however, scheme liabilities also increase as it costs schemes more to purchase annuities. The risk reserve for the impact of a 0.5% drop in interest rates is equal to the difference between the rise in liabilities minus the increase in bond asset values.


Benefit reductions section 50

Benefit Reductions (Section 50)

  • Authority can issue S50 directions where scheme fails funding standard

  • Authority can now specify actual measures (likely to be what’s in the application)

  • Benefit reductions must be carried out within one month of direction

  • Application requirements now in statutory guidance


Statutory guidance

Statutory Guidance

What is Statutory Guidance?

  • Distinct from existing Pensions Authority guidance

  • Binding legal instrument

  • A breach amounts to an offence

  • Prescribed by Minister via Funding Standard Regulations

  • Can’t be altered without Ministerial consent


Statutory guidance all available on the website

Statutory Guidance(all available on the website)

  • Section 42 – FS calculations where scheme holds sovereign annuities/sovereign bonds (S53B basis)

  • Section 47 – Unsecured Undertaking and General Contingent Asset Guidance

  • Section 49 – Funding Proposal Guidance

  • Section 50 – Benefit Reduction Guidance


Pension scheme wind up priority orders

Pension scheme wind-up priority orders

The Social Welfare and Pensions (No. 2) Act 2013 (“2013 Act”) came into force on 25 December

2013. It introduces two new wind-up priority orders and expands the type of benefit reductions which

the Board may direct under section 50 of the Pensions Act 1990.

Wind up priority orders under Section 48 of the Pensions Act 1990

  • For all schemes which start to wind up on or after 25 December 2013, one of two priority orders will apply:

    • the single insolvency order will apply if the scheme’s employer is solvent at the date of wind up.

    • the double insolvency order will apply if the scheme’s employer is insolvent at the date of wind up. In a multi-employer scheme, all participating employers must be insolvent for the double insolvency order to apply.

  • Insolvency is defined in the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act 1984 and can include (for example) liquidations, receiverships, resolutions to wind up a company.


Single insolvency order

Single Insolvency Order

Benefits will be distributed in the following order of priority:

  • Additional voluntary contributions (“AVCs”) and transfers in of AVCs; and defined contribution (“DC”) benefits and transfers in of DC benefits.

  • Pensioner benefits (excluding post-retirement increases), in accordance with the following limits:

    • if the annual pension is €12,000 or less, 100% of the pension;

    • if the annual pension is more than €12,000 and less than €60,000, the greater of €12,000 and 90% of the pension; and

    • if the annual pension is €60,000 or more, the greater of €54,000 and 80% of the pension.

  • 50% of active and deferred benefits, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Remaining pensioner benefits, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Remaining active and deferred benefits, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Any remaining benefits, including post-retirement increases.

    N.B. The benefits which scheme members receive in a wind up will depend upon the scheme assets which are available for distribution.


Double insolvency order

Double Insolvency Order

Benefits will be distributed in the following order of priority:

  • AVCs and transfers in of AVCs; and DC benefits and transfers in of DC benefits.

  • 50% of pensioner benefits, including post-retirement increases.

  • 50% of active and deferred benefits, including post retirement increases.

  • Pensioner benefits up to a maximum of €12,000 per year, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Remaining pensioner benefits, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Remaining active and deferred benefits, excluding post-retirement increases.

  • Any remaining benefits, including post-retirement increases.

    N.B. The benefits which scheme members receive in a wind up will depend upon the scheme assets which are available for distribution.

    However, in a double insolvency, if the scheme does not have enough assets to pay for the benefits under priorities 2, 3 and 4, the Minister for Finance will provide the necessary money to make up the shortfall, subject to criteria set out in legislation.


Pensions information

Pensions information

Pension calculators

Free Online Trustee Training, Guidance & FAQs, E-mail alerts & Trustee supports

Information booklets

Pension checklists

Enquiry service

[email protected]/

01-6131900


Why have a pension

Why have a Pension?

Life expectancy increasing – 20 plus years in retirement

What kind of lifestyle do you want and how will you fund it?

Current State pension = €230.30 per week

8 out of 10 people say - the State pension will not meet all their needs in retirement

Pension = Income in Retirement


Tax relief on personal contributions

Tax relief on personal contributions

Highest age at any time during the tax year Limit

Under 30 15%

30-39 20%

40-49 25%

50-54 30%

55-59 35%

60 and over 40%

For tax purposes limited to earnings up to a

maximum of €115,000 in any year.

Standard Fund Threshold - €2 million.


Changing world we live in

Changing world we live in


Changing demographics

Changing Demographics


Pensions in the workplace

Pensions in the workplace

“A good pension is a valuable asset, don’t leave work without it”

  • The workplace is the optimum location for pension provision, information and education

  • A company benefits from having:

    • a reputation and respect as a good employer

    • a workforce that feels valued and important

    • increased loyalty and commitment from staff

    • an enhanced staff recruitment, reward and retention package


Employers pension obligations

Employers’ Pension Obligations

  • By law an employer must provide ALL employees with some form of access to a pension, whether they are in full-time, part-time, temporary, contract or casual employment.

  • All employers regardless of their size areobliged to provide access to a Standard PRSA for “excluded employees”

  • The Authority encourages employers to regard pensions as part of the recruit, reward and retain approach to staff

  • The Authority also encourages all employees to ask their employer about their pension rights


Registered administrators ras

Registered Administrators (RAs)

  • From 1 November 2008 trustees of every scheme must appoint an RA to provide core administration functions

  • Core administration functions are:

    • preparation of annual reports

    • preparation of benefit statements

    • maintenance of sufficient and accurate member records to discharge above


The authority s approach to regulation

The Authority’s approach to Regulation

The Authority’s allocation of resources is risk oriented on the basis of the following priorities:

1st priority misappropriation of pension assets or contributions

2nd priority failure to pay benefits due

3rd priority inadequate funding of defined benefits

4th priority inappropriate investment

5th priority failure to provide prescribed information to members

This order represents the seriousness of the risks, not the likelihood of their occurrence.

Because regulation depends on Authority access to reliable information, we will especially target

failure to provide the Authority with information required under the Pensions Act, including

whistleblowing obligations.


Regulation supervision and enforcement

Regulation, Supervision and Enforcement

On the spot fines regime introduced in September 2007 - fine for each offence = €2,000

  • Registered Administrators introduced in November 2008

  • Compulsory trustees training introduced in February 2010


Sanctions for non compliance

Sanctions for non-compliance

Pensions Authority prosecutions:

  • The Authority may take prosecutions against persons who breach provisions of the Act or Regulations made there-under:

  • Offences can be prosecuted by the Authority on summary basis (District Court) or by DPP on indictment (Circuit Court)

  • On summary conviction- a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for term not exceeding 1 year or both

  • On conviction or indictment by DPP- a fine not exceeding €25,000 or imprisonment for term not exceeding 2 years or both (or in the case of a prosecution under Section 58(a) a fine not exceeding €25,000 or imprisonment for term not exceeding 5 years or both)


Engagement and enforcement activity

Engagement and Enforcement Activity

  • On-the-spot fines

    During 2012 the Authority issued fines notices to 17 trustees of 6 schemes for certain breaches of the Pensions Act. The breaches concerned related to:

    • failure to submit or late submission of actuarial funding certificates

    • late preparation of trustee annual reports

    • failure to furnish annual benefit statements to members

      €66,000 was paid by trustees in fines to the Authority and subsequently passed on to the Exchequer during 2012.

  • Meeting with scheme trustees

    During 2012 the Authority convened 52 meetings with individual schemes where trustees were called to the Authority’s premises to discuss their schemes compliance with the Pensions Act.

  • RA on-site inspections

    The Authority carried out 28 on-site inspections of RAs in 2012. The selection of RAs for inspection is done both on a risk–based and random selection basis and covers the broad spectrum of RAs based on their type and size of business.


Trustee challenges

Trustee Challenges


Main duties of trustees under the act

Main duties of Trustees under the Act


What the authority expects of trustees

What the Authority expects of trustees

  • Before describing, it may be useful to set out what we do not expect:

    • Trustees are not expected to be full-time

    • Trustees are not expected to be pension professionals

    • Trustees are not expected to be infallible.

  • Nonetheless, trustees are looking after money on behalf of other people. Therefore there are minimum standards they must satisfy:

    • They must have certain basic knowledge

    • They must engage

    • They must act reasonably

    • They must have process


Risk management for trustees

Risk Management for Trustees

  • Where trustees do not have the knowledge themselves, they engage professionals – most often covering administration, investment and communications.

  • It is the trustees’ job to:

    • question the professionals

    • to push back, and not to accept answers that they don’t understand or do not feel to be right.

  • The trustees must recognise that it is their responsibility to make decisions, and their options should be set out for them clearly by the professional advisers.

  • This is probably the most challenging aspect of being a trustee.

  • It is important that trustees identify the decisions that they are making, and that they have set out the alternatives among which they are deciding.


Risk management strategy

Risk Management Strategy

  • Unless trustees have a strategy for dealing with risks, they are not managing their scheme properly.

  • There is no single or simple answer - trustees must identify the best answers for their own scheme.

  • Hoping it won’t happen or hoping that something will turn up is not a risk management strategy.

    • As a trustee do you know the costs?

    • How optimistic are the calculations?

    • How much might they vary?

    • Are you depending on high equity returns?

    • What happens if you don’t get them?

  • In the long run, trustees will do themselves and all others concerned with the scheme most good if they look at scheme funding from all angles.


Supporting trustees

Supporting Trustees

  • The Authority supports trustees in the following ways:

    • the Trustee Handbook

    • an extensive range of guidance and FAQs on pension matters generally

    • booklets and checklists for trustees

    • the Authority provides an information and enquiry service

    • a register of trustee training providers is available on the website

    • the Authority has developed an e-learning facility for trustees which is free of charge and can be accessed on the website


Engage with your pension

Engage with your pension

  • Understand - what type of pension you are contributing to if you have one. Check out the booklet ‘What are my pension options?’ and visit Understanding your pension on www.pensionsauthority.ie

  • Review - the adequacy of your pension contributions regularly. Check if you are contributing enough to have the income you want when you retire. Use the Pensions Calculator at www.pensionsauthority.ie can help you work out the figures.

  • Keep an up to-date pensions file - read and check your annual pension benefit statement and or your pension scheme annual report.

  • Ask questions - you should ask that your pension information be explained to you in plain language and keep asking until you are happy and understand the information.


Engage with your pension1

Engage with your pension

  • Charges - you should always be aware of the charges against your pension fund and have them clearly explained to you by the trustees of your pension scheme or your pension provider. Check out the checklist on ‘Investment, Risk, Fees and Charges’ and visit Understanding your pension on www.pensionsauthority.ie

  • Investment risk - it is important to understand how your pension savings are being invested, the type of strategy and the level of risk involved. Check out the checklist on ‘Investment, Risk, Fees and Charges’ and visit Understanding your pension on www.pensionsauthority.ie

  • Tax relief - the Government supports you to save for your retirement, allowing you tax relief on your pension contributions at your highest rate of tax. It is important to understand the tax relief benefits and to make sure you receive your full entitlement. Use the Pensions Calculator at www.pensionsauthority.ie to help you work out the figures.


Engage with your pension2

Engage with your pension

  • Approaching retirement - it is especially important to review any investment decision taken in the years running up to retirement. On retirement you may receive a number of different choices regarding how to draw down your pension, this is something you should research well in advance. You should speak to your trustees, employer, colleagues or financial advisor.

  • Standardisation of State Pension Age - the qualifying age for the State pension will gradually increase over the coming years where the State Pension (Transition) at aged 65 years will no longer be paid from 1 January 2014.

    • This means that there will then be a standard State Pension age of 66 years for everyone.

    • State pension age will increase to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028.


Pension adjustment orders paos

Pension Adjustment Orders (PAOs)

  • A PAO designates part of the pension benefits

    • to a non member spouse

    • or person representing a dependent child.

  • The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (“the Act”) came into force on 1 January 2011

  • For further information, see - “A brief guide to the provisions of the Family Law Acts” booklet


You are the future

You are the future

  • Don’t just watch things happen.......

  • Make things happen.............


And to finish

and to finish…..

Thank you for your time and attention.

I hope you found my presentation interesting and of some benefit.


Questions answers

Questions & Answers


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