The Irish Association of Pension Funds is calling for an exemption from the provisions of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision II directive for smaller Irish retirement funds until alternative arrangements such as multiemployer plans, known in Europe as master trusts, are in place, the association said Thursday.
The European directive, to be implemented across Europe by Jan. 13, will introduce new governance and disclosure requirements for occupational plans. However, the domestic pension industry body condemned the Irish government for not publishing draft legislation ahead of the deadline in efforts to give the industry a chance to express views in a consultation.
The association said the directive's requirements will place additional pressure on trustees of smaller plans. They will be required to have specific qualifications as well as report on how they consider environmental, social and governance factors.
"The government is way behind schedule when it comes to the directive. They have left it extremely late to act and have not granted pension trustees and employers any opportunity to consult on the directive," Peter Fahy, chairman of the IAPF said in a news release.
"We have serious concerns that adding additional onerous regulatory requirements to smaller schemes at this time would merely result in employers discontinuing those schemes with no alternative being put in place until the new master trusts are available or until auto enrollment has been introduced," Mr. Fahy said. "This is clearly not in the interests of the members of those schemes."