There is currently no legal responsibility on employers to fund a pension for employees, however this may change according to the Governments National Pensions Framework document, with mandatory pensions planned for 2014.
Despite pensions being currently non mandatory, an employer funded pension still remains key in retaining employees.
Many employer funded pension schemes have moved away from the traditional defined benefit type scheme to a defined contribution type scheme. Increasingly employees are looking to scheme trustees, to provide a scheme that provides investment choice and the potential for long term growth.
Audit of Existing Occupational Schemes
Upon request from the schemes trustees we can review an employer’s existing scheme. By benchmarking the scheme against market peers, we can compare and contrast with other pension products. Depending on the scope of the audit, we can look at products that provide certain features such as online pension account valuations or access to certain managed funds. We can also look at charges being applied by the provider and seek a more competitive provider.
Set Up of Occupational Pension Schemes
We can assess the needs of the employer and make recommendations as to the most appropriate provider & product. This can be for single member schemes (executive schemes) through to group schemes which may contain hundreds of scheme members.
Occupational schemes may be insured through a life office, or non insured through a third party pension administrator. The chosen solution will depend on the size of the scheme and the level of investment choice required by the scheme trustees.
We can advise trustees of the training requirements for scheme trustees. Mandatory training for all company scheme trustees was recently introduced and trustees must ensure they are fulfilling their duties.
Employer sponsored PRSA’s
lthough there is no legal requirement upon employers to fund an employee’s pension, there is a legal requirement for employers to give access to personal retirement savings accounts (PRSA’s). By law the employer must enter into a contract with at least one PRSA provider so that access to at least one standard PRSA product is available to all excluded employees (have not been offered membership of an occupational pension scheme, or are ineligible to join such a scheme, or are members of such a scheme for protection benefits only, or who are not permitted to pay AVC’s into such a scheme).
It is important to note that the legal obligation is not removed because employees are not interested, or are family members, or are part time employees.