Group Pension Scheme FAQs

Relevant to our

• Corporate Pension Series - policy numbers beginning 501 or 502
• Executive Pension Plus – policy numbers beginning 503
• Tower Pension Series – policy numbers beginning with a L and ending in A

Group pension schemes – trustee FAQs

 What are the trustees’ responsibilities?

As trustees of the pension scheme, they need to administer the funds in the best interests of the members, complete appropriate trustee training, maintain member records, forward correspondence and act as signing authority on any instruction carried out within the scheme.

The IORP II Directive, made law in 2021, has a significant impact on the role of trustees of an occupational pension scheme.

Trustees must be familiar with and understand the requirements of the legislation. A code of practice for trustees of occupational pension schemes has been published by the Pensions Authority on their website www.pensionsauthority.ie

 What are the main requirements of the IORP II Directive?

A code of practice for trustees of occupational pension schemes has been pubished by the Pensions Authority on their website www.pensionsauthority.ie .

Examples of some of the requirements are:
- That trustees and key function holders satisfy the fit and proper criteria set out in the legislation
- Putting in place effective governance and internal controls
- Appointing key function holders to maintain effective risk management, internal audit and actuarial functions
- Having written policies in place for these key functions, which must be reviewed every 3 years
- Completing an Annual Compliance Statement and submitting this to the Pensions Authority each year. 

 Who is the Pensions Authority?

The Pensions Authority regulates occupational pension schemes; trust Retirement Annuity Contacts and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs). Information and guidance can be found on www.pensionsauthority.ie .

 What is a Registered Administrator?

A Registered Administrator is a person or company who is registered with the Pensions Authority to provide core administration functions for trustees.

 What are the core administration functions of a Registered Administrator?

The core administration functions are the preparation of annual reports and annual benefit statements for the trustees and the maintenance of sufficient and accurate records of members and their entitlements. Registered Administrators must also provide annual scheme information to the Pensions Authority which corresponds closely to the information required for the preparation of scheme annual reports and member benefit statements.

 Can the employer or trustees appoint a professional trustee?

Yes, there are many independent companies and individuals who specialise in offering professional trustee services to pension schemes.

 What is the difference between a sponsoring and associated employer?

A sponsoring employer is typically the employer that started the scheme and an associated employer is an additional employer who is linked to the scheme at a later stage.

 How do I remove myself as trustee and appoint someone else?

A deed of resignation and appointment needs to be completed by the retiring and new trustees. Once received by Standard Life, we will update our records and notify the Pensions Authority.

 Are procedures required for contribution payment and scheme rules when the company is dissolved?

No. If the company is dissolved, contributions can no longer be paid into the pension scheme for that employment.

Group pension schemes – member FAQs

  What is a group company pension scheme?

Also known as occupational or corporate pension schemes, these are pension products set up by employers to provide retirement benefits for their employees. The pension assets are held for the members under a trust arrangement.  

 What is a Trust?

In pensions law, a trust is a legal arrangement established by an employer under which trustees hold assets of a pension scheme for the benefit of the scheme members. 

 What is a trustee?

The trustees are responsible for maintaining the assets of the pension scheme in the best interests of its members and discharging all of the legal responsibilities of the scheme. Although the assets are held in the name of the trustees, the members are always the beneficiaries (the trustees do not own the assets of the scheme).

 Who are the trustees of my pension scheme?

The trustees will be named on your member benefit statement and your scheme’s Annual Report. If the trustees are a company, the current directors or company secretary of that company are typically the scheme trustees. If in doubt, contact your scheme employer and they will direct you.

 Can I access my pension scheme details directly from Standard Life?

In the interest of security and protecting our customers, we won’t release confidential information without authorisation from scheme trustees. As group pension schemes are set up under trust, all information is sent to the scheme trustees for review.  You should contact your scheme trustees if you require scheme information.

 I have lost contact with the scheme trustees, can you reach out to them on my behalf?

Yes. Please provide us with your contact details, and after our security procedure is completed, we’ll forward them onto the scheme trustees so that they can communicate with you directly.

 I am not employed by this company any more, is it possible to transfer my pension fund?

Yes, it may be possible to transfer your pension fund to your current employer’s company pension scheme, a PRSA (subject to certain conditions), a buy out bond or a small self-administered scheme. We can provide the scheme trustees with your leaving service options on request.

 I am no longer employed by the company, can I leave my pension fund where it is until retirement?

Your pension fund can remain invested until you take retirement, as long as the scheme remains in force. It is important that you maintain contact with the scheme trustees. If you are moving house, please notify them of your new address. If your scheme is going to wind up before you take your retirement benefits, the scheme trustees will contact you with your options.

 When can I claim my pension fund?

Your normal retirement date is on your member benefit statement along with an illustrative projection of your benefits. You may have the option to retire early (from age 50 with the consent of your employer/trustees). Please note that claiming your retirement benefits early has implications on what you can access, and for directors may have restrictions on shareholding.  Please contact the scheme trustees if you have a query on claiming your pension fund. If you would like to receive a retirement illustration, they will contact Standard Life on your behalf.

 How do I switch the funds I’m invested in?

Please contact your scheme trustees to switch funds.  For a list of the funds you can invest in, visit about your funds. For fund performance graphs and factsheets, visit our Fund Centre.