Home Knowledge Deadline for submission of Funding Proposals and Section 50 applications to the Pensions Board

Deadline for submission of Funding Proposals and Section 50 applications to the Pensions Board

December 3, 2010

In April 2010 the Pensions Board announced that it was extending by five months the deadline for defined benefit schemes to submit funding proposals and/or section 50 applications for approval by the Board.  This extension allowed schemes to take into account the Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2010.  These regulations permit schemes to increase the pension scheme’s normal retirement age under section 50 of the Pensions Act with immediate and retroactive effect.

The revised deadlines for the funding proposals and section 50 applications were due to expire from 30 November and, as such, it was critical that scheme trustees take the necessary steps to meet the minimum funding standard provided under the Pensions Act before the deadline relevant to their scheme.

The Minister for Social Protection, Eamon O Cuiv TD, has, however, recently announced that the 30 November 2010 – 31 May 2011 deadline for submission of funding proposals is being extended.  The Pensions Board has deferred this deadline for all schemes, but it is not yet in a position to announce the revised deadline.  Any revised date will have to take account of the legislative changes to be introduced by the Government.  This will also allow schemes time to prepare new or revised submissions in light of any changes.

The Board intends to contact all schemes which have made Section 50 or Section 49(3) applications to ask them if they want to withdraw the applications.  The Board will, however, continue to consider any such applications made to it in the coming months.  As the Board has pointed out, sooner or later difficult decisions will have to be made.

The Government also announced that work on the defined benefit aspects of the National Pensions Framework is being expedited and new legislation will be introduced no later than 1 July 2011.  This will involve considering strategies for transitioning schemes to a new defined benefit model.