Pensions (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2017

A Bill to amend the Pensions Act 1990, was passed by the Dail on 9th February 2017 and to have legal effect must be passed by the Seanad and signed into law by the President, neither of which have yet happened. Text of Bill as below:

Amendment of Part IV (“Funding Standard”) of Pensions Act 1990

1. Part IV (“Funding Standard”) of the Pensions Act 1990 is amended by inserting the following after section 44:

“Deficiencies in the funding standard: employer’s obligation

44A. (1) Where—

(a) a relevant scheme is being wound up,

(b) the employer concerned has not become insolvent, and

(c) the scheme does not satisfy the funding standard,

an amount sufficient to enable the scheme to satisfy the funding standard shall be deemed to be a contract debt, due from the employer concerned to the trustees of the scheme, and may be so recovered by the trustees in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a) a relevant scheme is being wound up where the employer takes any step under the rules of the scheme (other than paying into its resources an amount sufficient to enable the scheme to satisfy the funding standard) that enables the employer, in accordance with generally accepted accountancy principles or practice, to remove recognition of current or contingent liabilities towards the scheme from the employer’s own financial statement,

(b) the questions—

(i) whether an employer has become insolvent, and

(ii) if so, the time at which the employer has become insolvent,

shall be determined in accordance with the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts 1984 to 2012.

(3) This section does not prejudice any other right or remedy which the trustees have in respect of a deficiency in the resources of a relevant scheme.

(4) This section applies to relevant schemes that came into operation before its commencement.”

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