Society of Actuaries in Ireland expresses concern about delay to reform of pensions legislation

The Society of Actuaries in Ireland has issued a press release expressing concern about the delay to the reform of pensions legislation following publication of the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 yesterday. The Bill does not address major reforms required to pensions legislation for defined benefit schemes.
Following a consultation held by the Department of Social Protection on the review of Section 48 of the Pensions Act at the end of 2012, the Society, together with the IAPF, ICTU and IBEC, agreed a set of principles that could form the basis for a new wind-up framework that would be more equitable than the status quo. We were encouraged by comments from the Minister for Social Protection in December 2012 and by the initial description of the Bill in the Government's legislative program for the Summer (published in April 2013) that changes would be made. However, the Minister has decided to defer making a decision on any changes to Section 48.  
The Society became increasingly concerned about the legislative uncertainty for Trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes following the publication of the OECD review of the Irish pensions system and the European Court of Justice ruling in relation to former Waterford Crystal employees. We wrote to the Minister in early May in relation to this matter and highlighted the difficulties facing Trustees, sponsors and advisers in developing recovery plans by the deadline of 30 June 2013. We subsequently engaged with the Minister's representatives to stress the urgency for reform of key aspects of pensions legislation.
The Society will continue to engage with policymakers but consider that it is important to publicly make our position known at this point.