Position of UK/Ireland schemes under the EU IORPS Directive
Friday 12 August 2005:For purposes of Irish regulation, a UK/Ireland scheme is a scheme registered in Ireland which has members in the UK. Formerly, employers based in Ireland were permitted to have their UK based employees (whether working in a UK subsidiary or in a UK branch) included as members of the Irish registered pension scheme rather than requiring a separate UK scheme to be established for such individuals. Reciprocal provisions applied in the case of UK employers with employees in Ireland. Since 1994, no new UK/Ireland schemes could be established. However, UK/Ireland schemes in existence prior to that date may continue to operate and accept new members. Currently these schemes are regulated, for Irish purposes, under Occupational Pension Schemes (Schemes with External Members) (United Kingdom) Regulations 2000, S.I. No.470 of 2000.
Article 20 of Directive 2003/41 on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (commonly known as the IORPs Directive) requires schemes which engage in cross-border activities to receive a prior authorisation and to fulfil certain ongoing conditions. There is a possibility that UK/Ireland schemes come within the scope of this Article.
The UK and Irish authorities are currently in discussions with the European Commission to determine whether, and, if so, how the requirements of Article 20 of the Directive should apply to UK/Ireland schemes. We do not expect that these discussions will be finalised by the 23 September 2005, the date by which the Directive is required to be implemented into national law. We have advised the Commission that Ireland will continue to allow UK/Ireland schemes to operate “as is” and without regard to the provisions of Article 20 of the IORPs Directive until we receive concluded advice from the Commission as to whether or not such schemes come within the scope of Article 20.
31 August, 2005