On 14 October 2021, the Pension Funds Adjudicator, the "Adjudicator," published a key communication dealing with the non-payment of contributions by participating employers in retirement funds.

The communication provides that, from 1 December 2021, the Adjudicator may hand down orders "sounding in money" against employers who are behind on their retirement fund contribution obligations.

Prior to this the Adjudicator has only been able to make orders calling on the parties to exchange information for the purposes of calculating the amount owed to the creditor (the retirement fund) but as of 1 December 2021 the Adjudicator can order that the employer (as judgement debtor) be directed to pay a specific sum of money.

The significance of this for employers and retirement funds is that retirement funds, as the judgement creditors, may use such an order to get a warrant of execution issued against the property of an employer to settle the judgment debt pertaining to the employer's arrear contributions. In such an instance, the property of the employer could be sold in execution and the proceeds applied to the repayment of the amount owing.

The communication provides that the Adjudicator will conduct investigations going forward, through which the quantum of the debt can be ascertained for the purposes of issuing the order. For this purpose, the retirement fund will be required to provide certain information relating to the employer's non-contributions.

Read more on the Adjudicator's communication here. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries in respect of the communication, or in relation to any retirement fund other matter.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.