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Poor records in pension funds

POOR record-keeping is at the heart of dozens of Irish pension fund schemes, the Pension Board has warned.

In 2012, the body carried out 28 on-site investigations and discovered four cases that required remedial action.

The CEO of the Pensions Board, Brendan Kennedy, said that it was "extraordinary" that any administrator should be so unaware of its responsibilities that this situation should arise.

In its Annual Report, the Board found that there is a continued fall in the number of members in Irish pension schemes due to the poor economic situation.

Mr Kennedy said that, although this was not necessarily a surprise, it was still a "cause for concern".

And he said that administrators need to be fully aware of their responsibilities – under the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2008, pension administrators are responsible for the preparation and delivery of annual member benefit statements and the issuing of a draft Trustee Annual Report.

"The proportion of schemes where trustees have not fulfilled their legal responsibility is too high," Mr Kennedy said.

He also said that Irish pension schemes hold a higher proportion of equities than other comparable countries, which has been a major cause of current deficits in defined benefit schemes.