Pensions Council publishes report on ARF charges

The Pensions Council has published a report on Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) charges. Differences in charges for the investment of pension funds can mean a gain, or loss, of thousands of Euros for individual pensioners. A pensioner investing €75,000 over ten years might have saved up to €5,440 in charges by choosing the fund with the […]

The human behavioural reaction to low and negative interest rates

One of the topics discussed at a recent meeting of the international GAPS Network group of pension experts was the financial reaction of people in those countries that are currently experiencing negative interest rates. Economic theory suggests that lower interest rates pushes consumers towards spending more because the economic benefit that they can draw from […]

Representing risk to DC members

In this article Paul McCarville, a Director of Clarus Investment Solutions (www.clarus.ie), discusses the difficulty of a standardised measurement of risk against the background of ever changing investment conditions. Read article: Paul McCarville article.

Practical upper limit on pension funding

In recent years, Government has discouraged very high individual retirement funds. Since 1 January 2014, individuals are penalised if they build up funds higher than the Standard Fund Threshold of €2m, unless they can avail of a ‘grandfathering’ facility for funds already over that level. For many there is wriggle room to go a little […]

Amendment to Section 50/50B regulations

On 22 January 2015, the Minister for Social Protection signed the Occupational Pension Schemes (Sections 50 and 50B) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2015/en.si.2015.0024.pdf). This short statutory instrument amends the Occupational Pension Schemes (Sections 50 and 50B) Regulations, 2014 (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2014/en.si.2014.0392.pdf). A new definition of “representative group” is introduced as a body representing at least 50% of deferred […]

Social Welfare and Pensions (No 2) Act 2013

This Act http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/acts/2013/a4913.pdf was enacted on 25 December 2013! It changes the priority order on wind-up of a defined benefit pension scheme. The terms depend on whether the employer is solvent or insolvent and in the event that both the pension scheme and employer are insolvent, the Act specifies the basis on which the Minister for Finance may […]

European Court of Justice rules against Irish State

The European Court of Justice today ruled that the Irish State has breached its obligations under EU law by not protecting the employees of Waterford Crystal who lost the bulk of the value of their pension when the company became insolvent. The ruling, which is likely to have wider implications can be found here: ECJ Waterford Crystal […]