Retirement sleepwalkers

Research from Friends First life assurance company, a provider of personal and company pensions, reveals that 73% of those surveyed are not confident that they will have sufficient income in retirement. And they’re probably right because the average contribution of those surveyed is €3,000 annually while the average expectation for a retirement is an income of €19,500 […]

Required distributions from USA pension plans

Trident Consulting’s US network partner comments in the attached article on the regime for required distributions from accumulated retirement funds in the USA. The difficulty is that parameters for drawing down retirement funds were set in the past when life expectancy was shorter than today. The regime for drawing down funds in Ireland is much […]

Irish Congress of Trade Unions: Changing the Pensions Landscape

The ICTU held a pensions conference on 29 September 2016 against the background of over 50% of defined benefit schemes closing in recent years. The State pension alone does not provide sufficient income in retirement for the majority so it is important that there is another strand to pension provision. Their view is that private […]

Irish Pensions Authority publishes 2015 Annual Report

In recent days, the Pensions Authority published its Annual Report for 2015. It’s quite a lengthy document (Pensions Authority 2015 Annual Report). The Pensions Authority 2015 activity and statistics is a good summary of the key points. Active membership in defined benefit schemes that are not subject to the funding standard is down 10% over the […]

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 (, discusses the difficulty of a standardised measurement of risk against the background of ever changing investment conditions. Read article: Paul McCarville article.