The IORP II Directive has been transposed into Irish law. The European Union (Occupational Pension Schemes) Regulations, 2021 (SI No 128 of 2021) were signed into law by Heather Humphreys TD, the Minister for Social Protection on 27 April 2021.
The Minister has indicated that, in keeping with the Government's Roadmap for Pensions Reform, the requirements of the IORP II directive will apply to all funded occupational pension schemes and trust RACs, including small schemes (albeit with a 5 year lead in for one-member arrangements) – "pay-as-you-go" unfunded public sector arrangements are excluded from the scope of the regulations (as the IORP II Directive does not apply to them).
The Regulations introduce increased governance, investment and disclosure requirements for trustees of pension schemes and significantly increased oversight and intervention powers for the Pensions Authority. The Regulations also remove some obstacles to cross-border provision of pension services and the facilitation of cross border transfer of schemes. The Regulations apply to most arrangements immediately with an obligation to provide a compliance statement (in a form to be prescribed by the Pensions Authority) by 31 January in each year regarding compliance in the previous year. The first such statement is to be provided by 31 January 2022 for compliance in 2021.
We will have further information on the specifics of the Regulations in our next Pensions Group update.
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.