Pensions Authority summary of regulatory activity and outputs for 2018

Thursday 14 March 2019: Today the Pensions Authority issues its summary of regulatory activity and outputs for 2018.

Commenting on the release. the Pensions Regulator, Brendan Kennedy said: "Our direct engagement supervision of the scheme governance and administration of practices of trustees of both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes continued during 2018.

In 2018, four prosecution cases were concluded. The Authority secured a conviction in one case which related to the deduction of pension contributions from employees' wages and failing to remit them to the pension scheme trustees within the statutory timeframe (section 58A(1)). In other three cases, two were struck out and one had the Probation Act applied.

Throughout 2018 the Authority continued to provide technical support to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) in preparing for the transposition of the IORP II EU Directive into Irish law and in implementing the proposed reforms to supplementary pensions."

Regulatory activity and 2018 outputs at a glance:

  • 62 new investigations were opened into various alleged breaches of the Pensions Act. The allegation breaches varied from deductions and non-remittance of pension contributions to failure to reply to a statutory request for information. 
  • 49 engagement meetings were held with defined benefit and defined contribution schemes in order to ensure that trustees were performing their obligations and to introduce improved governance standards into trusteeship.
  • 108 relevant authorities participating in the single public sector scheme were audited to assess their compliance with disclosure of information requirements.
  • 179 desk-based audits were carried out during the year on both PRSA and OPS disclosure documentation and to assess if the appropriate benefits were paid from a number of sample schemes.
  • 487 of the defined benefit schemes subject to the funding standard were in compliance with the standard as at 31 December 2018. All bar six of the remaining 127 schemes have agreed or are in the process of submitting funding proposals designed to bring the scheme into compliance with the standard. The Authority is maintaining close engagement with the trustees of these six schemes.
  • 6 funding proposals from DB schemes were received and approved.
  • 5 applications to reduce accrued benefits from DB schemes were received and approved.
  • 262,647 data submissions from regulated entities were processed through the Authority's Pensions Data Register.
  • 6 FOI requests were received and approved.
  • 1 Subject Access Request was received and completed.
  • 2 Protected Disclosures were received from individuals regarding alleged breaches of the Pensions Act in relation to access to a PRSA and are still being processed.
  • approximately 8,800 general pension and data processing queries were received and dealt with.

Support, information and guidance

During 2018, the Authority continued with its series of compliance alerts. These alerts highlight areas of concern that the Authority would like to see addressed or provide information to regulated entities on their obligations under the Pensions Act. These included: 

  • Trustee administration calendar
  • Trustee training
  • Managing conflicts of interest

Information was also provided during the year as follows:

  • May 2018 - the Authority issued an information note on data protection for trustees of occupational pensions schemes
  • June 2018 - the Authority published a set of statistics for defined benefit schemes which were complied from analysis of Annual Actuarial Data Returns received to 31 March 2018
  • July 2018 - the Authority published a consultation paper on the regulation of DC master trusts
  • September 2018 - the Authority published information on the new reporting requirements for pension schemes that have been introduced by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Central Bank (ECB).


For further information, contact:

David Malone

Head of Operations

The Pensions Authority

Tel: (01) 613 1900

Note to Editors

The Pensions Authority is a statutory body established by the Pensions Act, 1990 to regulate occupational pension schemes, trust based RACs and PRSAs.