Trustee Training

The Pensions Act, 1990 brought together and set down clearly the duties and responsibilities of pension scheme Trustees. There is a high degree of overlap between trustees duties under the general principles of trust law and their duties as prescribed in the Act.

The Act introduces a requirement on employers to arrange trustee training for each individual trustee within six months of their appointment and at least every two years thereafter. Trustee training is considered important for pension scheme governance as it assists trustees to develop the skill-set necessary to perform their duties and functions effectively.

Where a Company acts as Trustee of a pension scheme all Directors both Executive and Non-Executive of the Company will also be required to undergo trustee training. This is the most significant change introduce by these new regulations.

A number of Trustee Training Courses are available at present. They are normally completed in one day and the cost is in the region of €500 per person. The Pensions Board have stated that they will be devising an on-line Trustee Training Module to facilitate training at a time and place convenient for each participant.

A declaration will be required in the Trustee Annual Report detailing the Trustee Training which has been undertaken during the year and will be subject to Pensions Board Audit.  Non compliance could result in an on the spot fine of €2,000. Fines cannot be paid from the resources of the pension scheme.

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