A number of important changes have been introduced to strengthen the governance and regulation of occupational pension schemes in Ireland. These include a restructuring of the Pensions Board.
The existing Pensions Board will be renamed as the Pensions Authority. The new Pensions Authority will have two distinct arms: a three-person Pensions Commission with an independent chair to provide oversight on pensions regulation, and a separate unpaid Pensions Council, comprised of members representing various consumer interests, which will advise the Minister for Social Protection on pensions policy. As part of this restructuring, the current Chief Executive of the Pensions Board will become known as the Pensions Regulator.
The restructuring of the Pensions Board will not begin until the Minister for Social Protection signs the relevant commencement order.
In addition to these changes, the Government has also announced the amalgamation of the Offices of the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Services Ombudsman.
The landscape of pensions governance and regulation in Ireland will alter significantly with these changes. These restructuring changes will hopefully strengthen the governance and regulation of occupational pension schemes and increase consumer confidence in the pensions system.