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€20bn scheme ‘eyes Irish pension pooling’

IRELAND – State Street says it has received enquiries from multinational corporations, some with pension assets of up to €20bn, about setting up a pension pooling deal in Ireland.

Willie Slattery, managing director of State Street (Ireland) Ltd., told IPE in an interview that the firm has had enquiries from six or seven multinationals about pension pooling in Ireland within the last 12 months. Mandates ranged between €3-4bn and €20bn.

“I have a strong belief that we will launch a common contractual fund for a multinational client with the next six to nine months,” he added. “In terms of profile we’re talking about one of the biggest multinationals in the world.” He was not able to name the client.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting says asset pooling requires a very large asset base – a minimum of €2bn in pooled assets - to make the economies of scale worthwhile.

“At Mercer, we believe that although the different tax and benefit regimes will make the administration of pan-European pension plans difficult, tax issues will gradually cease to be the obstacle they once were,” the firm says.

Meanwhile, Mercer has calculated that the combined pension deficit for Ireland’s 10 largest public companies under IAS19 is €3.3bn – up from an estimated €1.9bn a year before.

Elsewhere in Ireland, the Pensions Board has prosecuted the trustee of Iberia Airlines of Spain Retirement Plus Plan over his failure to provide “timely information”,

Iberia’s Jose Garcia Furones was fined €1,000 and made to pay costs of €2,400.

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