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Pensions & Benefits Law Podcasts

Matheson’s Pensions and Benefits Law podcast series is led by Deirdre Cummins, Partner and Jane McKeever, Associate at Matheson.  The series discusses the latest developments in Irish pensions and benefits law. The podcasts are a key resource in keeping up to date on developments in the area for pension scheme trustees, employers, HR practitioners, pensions and benefits professionals.

Episode 10: Employment, Pensions and Benefit Seminar - Working Beyond Retirement Age

In June of this year, Geraldine Carr, a partner in the Employment team and Jane McKeever, a senior associate in the Pensions team hosted a seminar on working beyond retirement age. They were joined by Garry Clarke, a senior retirement consultant with Aon. Deirdre Cummins, a partner in the Pensions team, chaired the discussion.

The panel discussed the various legal issues that arise for employers and pension scheme trustees when employees wish to work beyond their contractual retirement age. This included analysis of the current position in Ireland on mandatory retirement ages and how employers are dealing with requests to work beyond that age, including how pensions may be affected. The panel also discussed whether these arrangements could raise any discrimination concerns


Episode 9: Bulk Annuity Transactions Part Three

In this episode, Samantha Brown and Rachel Pinto of Herbert Smith Freehills share lessons they have taken from the UK market in bulk annuity transactions and also provide tips for making the transaction process more efficient.


Episode 8: Bulk Annuity Transactions Part Two

In this episode, Jane McKeever, a senior associate from the Employment Pensions and Benefits Group at Matheson, explores the main trustee and employer considerations when an annuity buy-in is proposed. Darren Maher, head of Matheson’s Financial Institutions Group also examines the insurance angle and highlights some of the issues to be borne in mind when structuring and documenting these transactions.


Episode 7: Bulk Annuity Transactions Part One

Effective management of defined benefit liabilities is a central concern for employers and trustees involved with defined benefit pension schemes. For this reason, liability management exercises, including annuity buy-ins, are becoming more popular in the Irish market.

Earlier this year, Pensions and Benefits senior associate, Jane McKeever and partner and head of the Financial Institutions Group, Darren Maher hosted a seminar and were joined by Rachel Pinto and Samantha Brown of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and John O'Brien of Mercer. Together they shared their insights of annuity buy-in transactions and examined how these transaction can provide an opportunity to reduce risk and assist in liability management and the issues that tend to arise for employers, trustrees and insurers in relation to annuity buy-ins.

We recorded the seminar for our podcast and have broken it down into three parts.

In this episode, John O’Brien of Mercer discusses the different types of liability management exercises currently being seen across the market and how annuity buy-ins can assist with managing liabilities and reducing volatility.


Episode 6: Death Benefit Decision Making - Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Death benefit decision making can present significant challenges for trustees of occupational pension schemes, particularly in cases where there are competing beneficiaries.  Mistakes in this area can be costly as decisions, once implemented, can be very difficult to unwind.

In this episode, Deirdre and Jane discuss some of the common issues that can arise when trustees are faced with making a decision around the payment of death benefits.  They provide guidance around what constitutes a robust decision making process and also outline steps that trustees can take to avoid their decisions in this area being disputed.


Episode 5: IORP II Directive - What is in Store for Irish Pension Schemes?

The new EU Directive on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (commonly known as “IORP II”) is due to be transposed into Irish law by 13 January 2019.  Amongst other things, IORP II seeks to improve the governance of pension schemes and promote risk-based supervision.  When implemented, it will require significant changes to be made by many Irish pension schemes.

In this episode, Deirdre and Jane discuss the aspects of the Directive that are likely to impact most on Irish pension schemes.  In the absence of draft implementing legislation at national level, they consider what guidance can be offered by recent pensions related consultation papers and Pensions Authority guidance in relation to the likely approach to be taken in implementing the Directive.  They also provide insight on steps that trustees can start taking now to prepare for the changes to come.


Episodes 1 - 4

Episode 4: Pensions Roadmap 2018 - 2023: Introducing an auto-enrolment retirement savings system in Ireland

Earlier this year, the Government launched “A Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018 – 2023”, a five-year action plan for the reform of the Irish pension system.  In this episode, Deirdre and Jane discuss the Roadmap, examining, in particular, the Government’s proposal to introduce auto-enrolment to increase private sector pensions coverage and help individuals save for their retirement.  Deirdre and Jane also explore the Strawman Public Consultation Process that was published recently in relation to the Government’s auto-enrolment proposals and provide insights on how the system might work in Ireland.

Episode 3: GDPR FAQs

In this episode, Deirdre and Jane address questions arising from the previous episode of the podcast which focused on the General Data Protection Regulation and the implications for pension schemes of this major development in data protection law.

Episode 2:  The GDPR and the Implications for Pensions Schemes

In this episode, Deirdre and Jane focus on the general data protection regulation and the implications for pension schemes of this major development in data protection law.

Episode 1:  Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017

In this episode Deirdre and Jane are focusing on the general scheme of the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2017 and the implications and impact of this. Later on in this episode Deirdre and Jane will also be discussing in an Irish law context the implications of the recent Court of Appeal decision in the IBM case.