The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has announced a number of changes to strengthen governance and regulation of the country’s occupational pensions and give consumers greater input into pensions policy.
The changes to governance and regulation include a newly-structured Pensions Authority and Pensions Regulator.
The Pensions Board will be re-named as the Pensions Authority and split into two separate bodies:
- A three-person Pensions Commission with an independent chair, to provide oversight of pensions regulation; and
- A separate unpaid Pensions Council, with a majority of members representing consumer interests, which will advise the Minister on pensions policy.
The CEO of the Pensions Board will be re-named the Pensions Regulator.
The Minister has indicated that she will ask the Pensions Council to monitor the implementation of the recommendations in the 2012 Report on Pension Charges and advise her if further actions are needed.
The Minister also announced the amalgamation of the offices of the Pensions Ombusman and the Financial Services Ombudsman.
These actions follow recommendations made in a Criticial Review conducted by a steering committee chaired by Richard Hinz, Pension Policy Advisor at the World Bank. The Government has accepted the recommendations and the Minister will move to implement them in the forthcoming Social Welfare Bill.