Section 37 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2005 introduced a new Part XII into the Pensions Act, 1990 to allow pension schemes to engage in cross-border activity. Directive 2003/41/EC, on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs), requires that schemes registered or established in one Member State will be entitled to carry on business and accept contributions from employers based in other Member States in respect of their employees. The home Member State supervisory authority (State where the scheme is registered/authorised) is primarily responsible for supervising the scheme, however the host Member State supervisory authority (State whose social and labour law is applicable to the employment relationship between the sponsoring employer and the members) is responsible for supervising compliance with host Member State social and labour law and disclosure of information requirements.
Part XII requires Irish based pension schemes to apply to the Pensions Authority for authorisation before accepting any cross-border contributions. Each time a scheme wishes to accept contributions in respect of overseas employees further information must be supplied to the Authority so it can make a decision on whether the proposed arrangement is compatible with the scheme. Irish schemes engaging in cross-border activity must abide by the social and labour law and information requirements and any investment requirements applicable to any scheme members in other States.
If a pension scheme wishes to engage in cross-border activity the attached authorisation and approval forms must be completed (including all relevant documentation) and submitted to:
The Pensions Authority
28/30 Lower Mount Street