EU clarifies status of UK/Ireland schemes

UK/IRELAND – The European Commission has confirmed that UK/Ireland pension schemes do come under the cross-border provisions of the directive on occupational pension funds.

This means that regulators will have to bring in some “transitional arrangements” to accommodate these schemes.

“From the viewpoint of Irish regulations, UK/Ireland schemes are schemes established in Ireland which have some members in the UK,” Ireland’s Pensions Board said.

Such schemes were approved by the Revenue Commissioners prior to 1994 under a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

Article 20 of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision directive requires schemes which engage in cross-border activities to receive a prior authorisation and to fulfil certain ongoing conditions.

The Pensions Board stated: “As UK/Ireland schemes were originally thought not to have been encompassed by the cross-border provisions of the IORP directive, in the interests of natural justice, some transitional arrangements will be introduced to accommodate these schemes.”

Irish registered schemes which have UK members need to contact Jerry Moriarty, head of the investigations and compliance unit at the Board by not later than December 14.

The final date for application for authorisation by a UK/Ireland scheme to continue to engage in cross-border activity is March 31.

The Board added that it will be for each scheme to elect whether to continue to operate on a cross-border basis and, if it wishes to do so.

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