In Ireland, pensions are regulated by the Pensions Authority; a statutory body set up under the Pensions Act, 1990 (the Act). If you are an employer, you are currently under no legal obligation to provide a pension scheme to your employees. If you do not provide an occupational pension scheme, however, you must ensure they have access to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA). For more information on PRSAs, see below.
What are the types of occupational pensions?
pensions can either be contributory (whereby you and your employee make
contributions), or non-contributory (whereby only the employee makes
Occupational pensions also tend to be ‘funded schemes’, meaning that all contributions are placed into an investment fund from which benefits are paid.
What is a PRSA?
You will need
to provide access to a PRSA if you do not have an occupational pension scheme
in place, or if you have some employees who are not included in your pension scheme.
PRSAs are a
form of tax-efficient savings account.
They are administered by a range of authorised providers and are open to
anyone regardless of their employment status.
Employees can hold both an occupational pension and PRSA concurrently. As an employer, you will typically deduct an
employee’s PRSA payment from their salary and ensure these are paid to the
In order to
fulfil your obligations, you will need to:
a PRSA provider
the chosen PRSA provider to your employees – with relevant details of the type
of scheme selected
your employees (in writing) the option to opt into the PRSA and have their
deductions taken from their pay automatically
the PRSA is approved under the Act.
You will not have to pay any contribution to the PRSA (although there are tax advantages of doing so) and you will not be responsible for the choice of funds and its performance.
Are there any penalties for non-compliance with the Act?
Pensions Authority can issue ‘on the spot fines’ for failure to comply with the
Act; €2,000 for each offence.
As such, it is important to seek professional assistance with your occupational pension provision, and when providing access to a PRSA. Lavelle Partners can assist you with regard to any pension or PRSA matter. If you are looking to implement a new scheme, or are facing a potential complaint or fine in terms of your current pension provision, we will seek to understand the issues at hand and provide you with the range of options to move forward with your best interests in mind.
How Lavelle’s employee pensions and benefits Solicitors can assist you
team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon,
has been assisting employers for over 30 years with pension and benefit
matters, and as a result, has developed a robust reputation nationally for
achieving excellence in this area of law.
is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality
Law Committee and European Employment Lawyers Association.
Partners work in all areas of law (including employment law and taxation),
allowing our specialist departments to collaborate to ensure you receive the
best available advice in relation to pensions and benefits.
can assist with any aspect of employer pension and benefits including advice,
disputes, negotiation, and employment contracts.
understand the need to ensure pensions and benefits are carried out in full
accordance with employment legislation and best practice, thereby protecting
your business or organisation from the threat of a complaint, fine or
Our partnership with Talbot Pierce
Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of
Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce
are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of
matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution
solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.
information on employee pensions and benefits in Ireland, please contact
Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.