Lower 2016 interest rates increases the challenge for defined benefit schemes

Irish defined benefit liabilities are determined for Minimum Funding Standard (MFS) purposes by reference to the yield on a specified long bond for pre-retirement members and by reference to annuity costs for retirees. Many defined benefit schemes will have experienced a deterioration in the MFS funding level during the first six months of 2016, depending on the […]

Brexit – what happens next

See attached article regarding Brexit. It concludes that from an investment point of view clients should stay invested and stay diversified. The article is from Quantum Advisory, a UK based firm that is an international partner of Trident Consulting. Brexit (Quantum Advisory)  

Long-awaited broadening of ARF availability

22.06.16: Department of Finance announcement: The Minister for Finance has arranged for individuals who have a Buy-out Bond that originated in a Defined Benefit pension scheme to be allowed to use their Buy-out Bonds to access the flexible option of an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) option. At present, the ARF option is  available in respect […]

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 […]