Wednesday 11 July 2007: The Pensions Board today launched its 2006 Annual Report and presented a copy of the Report to the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mr. Martin Cullen TD.
The Report indicates that the total membership of occupational pension schemes at end 2006 was 797,370, an increase of 8.5% compared to 2005. 95,045 Personal Retirement Savings Accounts ( PRSAs) were in existence at the end of 2006 compared to 68,257 at end 2005. However, the adequacy of contributions to defined contribution arrangements continues to be a concern, while the risks associated with heavy investment in equities is an important issue for both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive of The Pensions Board, Mr. Brendan Kennedy, said: “Looking back, 2006 was another busy year across all our areas of activity – regulation, policy and information. We supervise about €90 billion of pension and PRSA money and were glad to see that overall compliance levels continue to improve.
The Board will continue to work to ensure that standards are further improved and will make use of the new on the spot fines regime when it commences later this year to ensure our objectives are met.”
Mr. Kennedy continued: “The main policy achievements during the year included the publication of the National Pensions Review (NPR), the Special Savings for Retirement report as well as our role as technical adviser to the Green Paper on Pensions.”
The Annual Report also refers to the recent Review of Trusteeship which has recommended that the current trust model of pension scheme governance should be retained, but changes need to be made to further enhance member protection and support trustees in their very important role.
“The Board, through its National Pensions Awareness Campaign and its general information services, has made significant progress in raising the levels of public awareness of pensions and pension adequacy. However, the Board cannot solve the issues of pensions take-up and adequacy on its own, and everyone concerned with pensions must focus on this problem” said Mr. Kennedy.
The Report is available on www.pensionsboard.ie.
For further information, please contact:
Mary Hutch / Aongus Horgan Tel: (01) 613 1900
The Pensions Board
Q4 Public Relations Tel: (01) 475 1444 / 087 237 1838
Highlights of 2006
- 797,370 in occupational pension schemes on the Board’s register, up from 734,699 in 2005 and 629,801 at end 2000.
- Of the 502 actuarial funding certificates submitted to the Board during 2006, 70% of defined benefit schemes satisfied the funding standard.
- The total number of PRSA contracts at end 2006 was 95,045. The total value of assets amounted to €835.3 million, an increase of over 80% in the value of assets held in 2005.
- The Board produced a report on employer mandatory obligations for PRSAs. The findings show a high level of compliance.
- The Board successfully prosecuted 2 cases against trustees of occupational pension schemes and 7 cases against employers.
- Policy developments during the year included:
- The publication of the National Pensions Review report in January;
- The publication of the Special Savings for Retirement report in July;
- The submission of the trusteeship review; and
- The Board’s contribution to the Government’s Towards 2016 Green Paper on Pensions in a technical capacity.
- The National Pensions Awareness Campaign for 2006 included National Pensions Action Week in May which targeted young people, and a campaign leading up to the tax-filing deadline in October, which focused on adequacy issues.
- 61.8% of all persons over age 30 in employment have a pension, according to a CSO Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) of pensions-related coverage carried out in Quarter IV 2005.
- Over 250,000 visits were made to the website during 2006, compared to 216,000 in 2005.
- In November 2006 The Pensions Board was in the final shortlist of the PA Consulting/Sunday Times Management Awards.