IORP II Regulation brings biggest change to Irish pension landscape in a generation


28 April 2021

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, yesterday signed the legislation which officially transposes the Second European Pensions Directive (known as IORP II) into national law. 


Commenting on the development, Peter Gray, Corporate Consulting Leader at Mercer in Ireland, said:


“After over two years of anticipation, this publication brings a welcome certainty for trustees and employers, allowing them to plan effectively for the future of their pension schemes. The legislation brings into force in Ireland the wide-ranging legal requirements and governance standards originally introduced in the IORP II Directive in 2017. Its arrival heralds the biggest change in the pension regulatory landscape that this country has witnessed for a generation.”


The IORP II requirements principally cover: 

  • Enhanced pension scheme governance and internal controls;
  • Strengthening schemes’ risk management systems, including a requirement for a formal risk management function;
  • Requirement for schemes to carry out an internal audit and have an internal audit function;
  • A much broader scope of member communications requirements, including provision of annual benefit statements to deferred members;
  • New fitness and probity standards for trustees and other persons involved in running schemes;
  • Extended powers for the Pensions Authority with respect to applying forward-looking, risk-based principles to the supervision of pension schemes and monitoring of compliance;
  • Updated rules relating to the operation of cross border schemes and transfers between schemes in Ireland and the EU.


The Minister has confirmed that the Regulations will apply to all occupational pension schemes in Ireland, irrespective of their size.  However, a five year transitional period will apply to existing one-member arrangements in respect of the new requirements.


Mr Gray further commented that “Mercer welcomes the introduction of this legislation and we believe that it will usher in a new era of stronger, better-run and more secure pension schemes for the benefit of members.”    


Peter Gray is available for interview or further comment on this development.


About Mercer


Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 76,000 colleagues and annual revenue of $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.