Pensions Authority compliance alert: Trustee Training

Thursday, 12 April 2018: The Pensions Act (‘the Act’) requires scheme trustees to complete relevant trustee training within specified timeframes. Trustees and employers should be aware of their obligations in relation to trustee training. Trustees and employers who fail to comply with trustee training requirements may incur a fine.

Employer obligations

Section 59AA of the Act requires sponsoring employers to arrange for scheme trustees to receive appropriate training. This training should relate to:

  • the Act, regulations made under it and other laws applicable to the operation of the scheme (such as trust law or employment law);
  • the duties and responsibilities of scheme trustees; and
  • such other duties relevant to the management of the scheme as are prescribed.

Employers must arrange appropriate training for trustees within six months of their appointment as a trustee. Where a company acts as trustee to an occupational scheme, all directors of the company must complete trustee training. There is an ongoing requirement that trustees undertake further training at least every two years thereafter. Employers are not required to arrange training for professional trustees or Revenue approved pensioneer trustees.

Trustee obligations

In addition to the requirement to undertake trustee training within six months of appointment and at least every two years thereafter, trustees are also required to confirm in the scheme’s annual report whether they have received trustee training as required by Section 59AA of the Act. Furthermore, trustees are required to confirm in the annual report whether any costs and expenses incurred in relation to trustee training were met out of the resources of the scheme.

It is recommended that trustees retain evidence of completion of trustee training as this may be sought at any time in the context of a Pensions Authority audit.

How to arrange trustee training

A list of registered training providers is available here. The Authority’s online and interactive trustee training course is available free of charge on our website. The Authority’s website also contains a Frequently Asked Questions document on Trustee Training Requirements which can be found here.

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For further information, contact:

David Malone

Head of Operations

The Pensions Authority

Tel (01) 6131900

Note to Editors

The Pensions Authority

The Pensions Authority ("the Authority") is the statutory body established by the Pensions Act 1990 ("the Act") to regulate occupational pension schemes, trust based RACs and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) and to advise the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection on overall pension policy development. See www.pensionsauthority.ie

Under the Act, the Authority has power to carry out investigations into alleged breaches of the Act and to ensure that trustees, employers, pension administrators and their advisers comply with their obligations to current and former employees' in relation to their pension contributions and benefits.