UK legislation exempting certain Irish pension schemes from British regulations came into force this week. Irish pension schemes with members in the UK had been technically subject to regulation in both states and the same applied to UK schemes with members in Ireland.

The move follows lengthy negotiations between the two governments aiming to find some common basis for the two systems. “Pension scheme members in both countries will continue to benefit from the regime that provides a satisfactory level of security for their pension rights and the schemes will be regulated in the country where they were set up,” says a spokesperson for the UK Department of Social Security.

The UK Department of Social Service regulation that came into force on December 31, 2000, has exempted qualifying Irish schemes from the minimum funding requirement, the appointment of professional advisers, member-nominated independent trustees and directors, refunds of surpluses to the employer and the internal dispute resolution procedure, among other regulations in the UK 1995 Act.

The qualifying UK schemes are not yet officially exempted from the provision of the Irish 1990 Pensions Act. The Pensions Board in Dublin says, that the Irish regulations on the issue are hopefully going to be published in a few weeks.