The Pensions Authority
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, T.D. signed the commencement order with effect from 7 March 2014 for the Pensions Authority as provided for under the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2013.
The Pensions Authority consists of an independent chair appointed by the Minister for Social Protection and two ordinary members.
Mr David Begg (Chairperson)
Dr. David Begg was appointed Chairman of the Pensions Authority in 2016. He is a former Secretary General of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and was CEO of Concern Worldwide from 1997 to 2001. He has served on the boards of a number of public and private sector bodies including the Central Bank, Aer Lingus and the Irish Times Trust. He is currently Chairman of the Mater Misericordiae and Children’s University Hospital group and of Barnardos children’s charity. He holds master’s degrees in International Relations and Theology from DCU and a PhD in Sociology from Maynooth University. He is adjunct professor at the Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences.
Mr Michael McGrath
Assistant Secretary General, Department of Finance
(Representative of the Minister for Finance)
Mr. McGrath was appointed a member of the Pensions Authority in February 2020. Since September 2017, Michael has responsibility for the development of domestic and EU/International policy and legislation in relation to financial services (including insurance and pensions, funds, financial markets and anti-money laundering policy). He also has management responsibility for the Department’s internal Legal Unit. He was seconded to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Ireland’s Alternate Executive Director of the IMF Board (2014-2017). Before that, he was the A/Sec. of the EU & International Division for a 2-year period and between 2007 and 2012 he was the A/Sec. with responsibility for the Economics & Budget Division. He previously served on the National Economic and Social Council, the National Statistics Board, and a range of senior EU economic and fiscal committees. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the EU Financial Services Committee. He holds a BA (economics and sociological & political studies) from UCG, an MA (economics) from UCD, an MSc (taxation) from DCU and a post-Graduate Higher Diploma (Statistics) from TCD.
Mr Ciarán Lawler
Assistant Secretary, Department of Social Protection
Ciarán Lawler was appointed a member of the Pensions Authority in March 2021. Since November 2019, Ciarán has responsibility for the finance function in the Department of Social Protection, including the Budget and Estimates process and the preparation of the annual Appropriation Account and Social Insurance Fund Account. He also has responsibility for the Department’s Legal Unit, Data Protection Unit and Investment Analysis Unit. He has spent the majority of his civil service career in the Department of Social Protection and has also worked in regulatory policy in the Department of the Taoiseach as well as the Pensions Board (now the Pensions Authority). Ciarán holds a MSc (Econ) in Policy Analysis from UCD/IPA, a MA in Social Policy from Open University, a BA in Humanities from DCU, a Professional Certificate in Governance from the IPA, and a Certificate in Journalism from the College of Commerce.