Consultation on the Trusteeship Review: Invitation for written comments

Friday 6 July 2007: The Pensions Board published its report on Trusteeship in February 2007. The report involves a detailed review of the trust model of pension scheme governance and examines the role of trustees in occupational pension schemes.

The challenges facing pension scheme trustees have increased in recent years, with legislative changes, funding difficulties, new requirements under the EU Pensions Directive, and changes in accounting standards affecting the trustee role and pension scheme governance. In this context, the Minister for Social and Family Affairs asked The Pensions Board to examine the role of trustees in occupational schemes.

Having considered all of the issues involved the report concludes that the current trust model should be retained as it continues to offer protections to pension schemes that justify its retention. The report’s recommendations aim to enhance the governance of occupational pension schemes, and member protection.

Key recommendations made in the report include:

  • Pension scheme administrators should be registered and supervised;
  • Service level agreements between trustees and administrators should be made compulsory. Guidance on the appropriate content of service level agreements should be introduced;
  • Employers should automatically arrange trustee training for all trustees within six months of their appointment and at least every two years thereafter;
  • The potential of new means of trustee training such as ‘e-learning’ should be explored;
  • The trustee annual report should state what training has been received by trustees during the year;
  • Trustee trainers should be encouraged to hold regional courses;
  • The Pensions Board should have the power to appoint a trustee or authorise an administrator to carry out wind-up procedures, where appropriate, and;
  • Each scheme should have a copy of The Pensions Board’s trustee handbook, and a ‘trustee checklist’ should be appended to the next edition of the handbook.

Focus is now turning towards the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report. As part of that process, an invitation for written comments on the recommendations of the report is being made, with a particular emphasis on the impact of implementing the recommendations. This written consultation will form part of a Regulatory Impact Analysis which is being carried out in relation to the implementation of the recommendations in the Report.

A copy of the Trusteeship Review can be found on The Pensions Board website – or you can request a hard copy of the review by telephoning the Board at (01) 613 1900.

We would be happy to receive any views or comments that you might have in relation to this matter in writing prior to the Friday 17 August 2007. Submissions can be sent by email at or by post to:

Trusteeship Consultation
Pensions Board
Verschoyle House
28-30 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2