IRELAND - Registered Administrators (RAs) must improve their record keeping if they are to avoid on-the-spot fines, the Pensions Board has warned.
In a series of on-site inspections last year the Pensions Board found some RAs were not quoting up-to-date legislation in their disclosure material, while others were missing benefit details in their records resulting in trustees sending incorrect information to pension fund members. They also found insufficient records for deferred members, with incorrect leaving and employee transfer dates.
Under the Pensions Act 2008, all defined benefit schemes must appoint an RA registered with the Pensions Board. If the Board believes an administrator is failing to comply with the legislation it can issue on the spot fines and refuse to renew the registration of the administrator, prevents it from taking on pension fund clients.
The inspection process was brought out last year to avoid confusion over data responsibility between trustees and their RAs. Both can be fined for not complying with regulation.
The Pension Board head of information David Maloney said: "The point of this exercise is to increase the standard of pension administration and to make sure RAs are compliant with their requirements under the Pensions Act. We introduced on the spot fines to reinforce how serious we are.
"If the trustee of a scheme does not produce the annual report on time we can issue them a €2,000 ($2,700) fine. Now, if an RA was contracted to do this work on behalf of the trustee, the trustee could blame the RA and vice versa. This inspection process aims to avoid this."
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