IRELAND - The Pensions Board, Ireland's pensions regulator, has called for written comments on its Report on Trusteeship.

The report, published in February, reviewed the trust model of pension scheme governance and examined the role of trustees in occupational pension schemes.

This report was the result of a request by former social and family affairs minister Séamus Brennan for the Pensions Board to examine the role of occupational pension scheme trustees in the face of growing challenges, which include legislative changes, funding difficulties, new requirements under the EU pensions directive and changes in accounting standards affecting the trustee role and pension scheme governance.

The consultation process is part of the implementation of the report's recommendations and will form part of a regulatory impact analysis, according to a Pensions Board statement.

More specifically, the report concluded the current trust model should be retained as it continues to offer protections to pension schemes.

That said, it also made a series of recommendations to enhance the governance of occupational pension schemes and increase member protection.

The key recommendations included a requirement suggesting:

pension scheme administrators be registered and supervised; service level agreements between trustees and administrators should be compulsory; guidance on the appropriate content of service level agreements should be introduced, and employers should automatically arrange trustee training for all trustees within six months of their appointment, and at least every two years thereafter.

It also proposed the potential offered by new means of trustee training such as ‘e-learning' should be explored, trustee annual reports should state what training has been received by trustees during the year.

At the same time, the Pensions Board ought to have the power to appoint a trustee or authorise an administrator to carry out wind-up procedures, where appropriate, according to the consultation.

Submissions must be made the Pensions Board Friday, 17th August 2007 and
More information about the Report on Trusteeship  is available on the Pensions Board's website.