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Irish regulator consults on pension trustee qualifications

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Ireland’s pensions regulator may bar trustees without sufficient experience under proposals put out to consultation this week.

The Pensions Authority said it launched the consultation to consider the impact of proposals for professional trustees, tabled by the European Commission in its initial draft of the revised IORP Directive but opposed by EU member states including the UK.

The Authority’s consultation asked for advice on how a potential trustee qualification should be structured, as well as what information should be contained within a curriculum. 

It also asked the industry whether it should allow trustees currently active in the industry to continue working if they can demonstrate sufficient experience.

The consultation asked: “If so, how do you think this should be managed – for example, what existing experience/expertise should get recognition?

“How long should grandfathering last for? Should there be some form of testing for those with specified experience, such as an online test with ongoing CPD requirements?”

The Authority asked for feedback by the beginning of October, with the consultation building on its previous work on the future of defined contribution (DC) funds in Ireland.

Brendan Kennedy, head of the Authority, has previously said he would like to see the number of DC funds fall to around 100, which would see a significant reduction in the 200,000 people acting as pension trustees.

He has said the ability of the trustees should be “at the heart” of the body’s regulatory work.

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