An EU Directive, IORP II, was signed into Irish legislation on Tuesday 27th April 2021 by Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys. The new regulations introduced some changes to the governance and operation of occupational pension schemes.
It is important to note that the regulations only apply to Occupational Pensions Schemes (OPS), which include Small Self-Administered Pension Schemes (SSAPs) and Group Company Pension Plans.
It does not apply to Personal Retirement Bonds, Personal Retirement Savings Accounts, Approved Retirement Funds or most Personal Pension Plans.
The regulations cover areas such as trustee qualifications, risk management , auditing and reporting, supervision and investment and are designed to bring benefits to scheme members.
However some changes to permissible investments in one member schemes, mainly SSAPs, are effective immediately and include the following:
- > Schemes’ assets must be predominantly invested in regulated markets. This means that direct property investments and unregulated investments will be restricted to no more than 50% of the aggregate portfolio. We await guidance on what this might look like in practice.
- > Schemes’ assets must be properly diversified in such a way as to avoid excessive reliance on any particular asset, issuer or group of undertakings and accumulation of risk in the portfolio as a whole.
- > Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues must be considered when making investments.
The Pensions’ Authority will provide further guidance and information over coming weeks and months to ensure the new obligations are fully understood. While we await this further guidance, we can still help clients in planning to adapt their Self-Administered Pension Schemes to comply with this new legislation.
The optionality within a Harvest SSAP offers you the potential to invest in bespoke portfolios of regulated assets, to diversify your pension fund and meet your retirement planning objectives. Regulated ESG investment opportunities are also available, all with guidance from our Investment Advisory Team.
As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions or concerns about IORPS II and how it impacts your Self-Administered Pension Scheme contact Harvest on 01 237 5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.
This marketing information has been provided for discussion purposes only. It is not advice and does not take into account the investment needs and objectives, financial position, risk attitude, liquidity needs, capital security needs and/or capacity for loss of any particular person. It should not be relied upon to make investment decisions.