Pensions Authority information update
18 May 2022: Today, the Pensions Authority publishes information on the pension benefit statement (PBS), the annual compliance statement (ACS), the 2022 EIOPA stress test, the interpretation of the regulated markets requirement and the use of electronic communications provided for under the Pensions Act 1990, as amended (the Act).
The Authority also announces an upcoming survey of DB and DC schemes, its intention to issue further information for master trusts, and issues a reminder of the compliance deadline of 1 July 2022 for master trusts, one-member arrangements set up on or after 22 April 2021 and new schemes.
Pension benefit statement
- The Authority will not require a PBS to be prepared with an effective date earlier than 1 January 2023 provided that trustees/registered administrators continue to provide annual benefit statements and (for DC schemes) statements of reasonable projection to active members.
- The Authority will issue guidance on the calculation assumptions to be used for the projections in the PBS by the end of July.
Annual compliance statement
- Trustees must prepare the 2022 ACS not later than 31 January 2023 in accordance with section 26T of the Act. The 2022 ACS form will remain unchanged from the form used for the 2021 ACS.
- Trustees will not be required to submit the 2022 ACS to the Authority in 2023. However, the Authority will carry out sample checks and audits of this obligation as part of its ongoing supervisory activity. Trustees are reminded that a failure to prepare the ACS may amount to an offence liable to a prosecution.
- The Authority is currently developing its systems to enable trustees to make a digital submission of the ACS. Trustees will be required to digitally submit the 2023 ACS to the Authority in February 2024. Further details on registering for the digital submission of the ACS will be issued in due course.
2022 EIOPA stress test exercise
- On 4 May, the Authority sent letters to trustees of the Irish schemes falling within the scope of the 2022 EIOPA stress test exercise to highlight the requirement to provide information to the Authority in accordance with section 156 of the Act.
- The EIOPA reporting templates must be completed in full by selected schemes and submitted to the Authority by 13 June. The Authority is the direct contact point for participating Irish schemes and all queries and completed templates should be emailed to email@example.com.
Interpretation of ‘regulated markets’ requirement
- The impact of the revised definition of ‘regulated markets’ in the Act on the non-EEA investment holdings of schemes is being examined by the Authority. The Authority understands that schemes may decide to defer consequent investment or related decisions until the Authority has concluded its examination.
Use of electronic communications
- Trustees are permitted to provide information to members or beneficiaries using electronic methods in accordance with section 2(8) of the Act. In doing so, they need to comply with the Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (the ECA).
- The Authority confirms that trustees are responsible for determining how they comply with the ECA requirements and what type of consent is required from members to receive information electronically (i.e. active or passive consent). The Authority’s view is that trustees should have regard to the specific profile and experience of their own scheme membership when deciding what type of consent is most appropriate.
Survey of DB and DC schemes
- The Authority will be conducting a short survey of a selection of DB and DC schemes in June. The purpose of the survey is to assess schemes’ progress since the original survey on IORP II preparedness was conducted in 2020. The Authority will collect survey data anonymously using a digital survey platform. The findings will be published on the Authority’s website in September 2022.
Information for master trusts
- The Authority will issue further information for master trusts in the week commencing 30 May 2022. This information is in response to queries raised directly with the Authority by trustees, founders and service providers of master trusts.
1 July 2022 compliance deadline
- The Authority reminds the following schemes of the need for full compliance with all obligations under the Act by 1 July 2022:
- master trusts – schemes with unrelated participating employers,
- one-member arrangements established on or after 22 April 2021, and
- any new scheme established on or after 1 July 2022.
- All other schemes and trust RACs will be required to be in full compliance with all obligations under the Act by 1 January 2023, noting that certain derogations apply to one-member arrangements established prior to 22 April 2021.
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For further information, contact:
The Pensions Authority
Tel: (01) 613 1900