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After much talk over the past 2 or 3 years, at last sovereign annuities have become a reality… nearly.  This week, I was one of the speakers at the launch of the first sovereign annuity approved by the Pensions Board.  Getting to this point is a major milestone in the long journey towards being able to use sovereign annuities. We are not quite there yet though.

One of the speakers at the launch was Anthony Linehan of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). The view in the industry is that sovereign annuities are most likely to be backed by Irish sovereign bonds. Mr Linehan gave a very interesting presentation on the bonds which the State will issue to back sovereign annuities and the process for issuing and pricing those bonds.

It seems that the State will issue what are being called ‘amortising bonds’. These are bonds which will pay out equal annual payments which are made up of a coupon payment and part of the principal which would usually be repaid at the expiry of the bond.  They are ideally suited to sovereign annuities.


Continue Reading Sovereign Annuities – Nearly a Reality

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The Pensions Board has recently confirmed that they will monitor trustee training compliance on an ongoing basis. Trustees are required to record in the scheme’s annual report that they have received the appropriate training as required by the Pensions Act and within the specified time limits.

Trustees will be interested to note that the Pensions

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1 February 2012 is the cut off time by which trustees, who were trustees prior to and after 1 February 2010, must have completed their trustee training. Trustees appointed since 1 February 2010 had to receive training within six months of their appointment. 

Every trustee of an occupational pension scheme (except a death benefit only

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The continuing economic crisis sees those with responsibility for pension schemes faced with a number of complex issues. There are a number of core issues which we are seeing consistently arise. These include the following:

  1. Check the Power of Amendment
  2. Check Employment Contracts
  3. Check the Effect of the Change
  4. Conflict, Confidentiality and Consultation
  5. Obtain Advice


Continue Reading Managing Occupational Pension Schemes in Crisis: 5 things to Consider