Trustees face €2,000 fines if they ignore training
TRUSTEES of pension schemes have been warned that new rules which take effect from next month mean they are legally obliged to undertake training. Anyone who does not receive training could be subject to an on-the-spot fine of €2,000.
Employers who breach the new rules to provide training for pension trustees may be prosecuted in the district court and jailed, fined €5,000, or both, the Pensions Board warned yesterday. Training is a requirement for trustees of both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.
The board, which is the regulator for pensions, has now launched an e-learning system for pension-scheme trustees.
Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of the board, said that there were some 100,000 pension schemes in the country, which means there are probably 200,000 trustees in the State.
"From the first of February there will be an obligation on trustees to get periodic training, and also an obligation on employers to provide that training," Mr Kennedy said.
The new e-learning facility is free to use and it involves information on pensions related by text, audio and video.
Mr Kennedy said trustees played a very important role and were essentially looking after people's money. Trustees who have previously received training will still have to undertake training at least every two years, as there is no exemption for these people under the new legislation.
The e-learning system can be accessed at http://trusteetraining.pensionsboard.ie or from the board's website on www.pensionsboard.ie.