IRELAND – Consulting firm Coyle Hamilton has been prosecuted and fined over a failure to comply with the Pensions Act.

The Pensions Board said it was successful in court action against Coyle Hamilton Trustees Ltd., as trustees of an occupational pension scheme for failure to comply with the disclosure requirements of the 1990 act.

It said the firm “failed in respect of two scheme years to make the annual reports for the scheme available to the members and other specified persons”. And it failed to notify members of reports’ availability within specified time limits.

The firm was fined €2,000 - with costs of €2,400 plus VAT also being awarded to the regulator.

Coyle Hamilton said it accepted responsibility for the delay and regretted the “administrative error”.

“Unfortunately in this incident we accept that there was an unacceptable delay in the production and distribution of the annual report,” a spokesman said – adding that the firm has reviewed its procedures.

“The disclosure of pensions information, in a timely manner, enables scheme members to monitor their benefits and the financial soundness of their pension schemes,” said Pensions Board chief executive Anne Maher.

“The Board regards information disclosure as a very important governance requirement for pension scheme trustees and takes steps to enforce this where necessary.”

Earlier this week the Irish Association of Pension Funds called on the government to allow tax relief on all pensions contributions at 42% to encourage retirement savings amongst those on incomes at or below the national average.