Led by Peggy Hughes, we have a dedicated award winning team of specialist pensions solicitors who provide a full range of pensions law services to our domestic and multinational clients. Our Pensions team, which forms part of the Employment Law & Benefits team, provides a service which is solutions and results focused, representing a broad range of clients including employers, pension scheme trustees (including professional trustees), public sector clients and scheme members.
Our Pensions team has contributed articles on pensions related issues to a number of publications. Our team are members of and hold council/committee positions within specialist pensions industry organisations, have spoken on pensions related issues at a number of events and facilitated tutorials in the Law Society of Ireland on pensions matters in Family Law and lectured on the Society’s Certificate in Pensions Law and Practice.
Some of the specialist pensions services provided by the Team are as follows:
- Retirement benefit vehicle planning and design – e.g. exploring options on the type of retirement benefit vehicle to provide such as personal retirement savings accounts (PRSAs), defined benefit and defined contribution schemes;
- Drafting, amending and reviewing scheme documentation – including establishment documentation and amending/updating documentation and negotiating the terms of same (e.g. trust deeds, scheme rules, member explanatory booklets, IDR procedures, investment management agreements, terms of business/service level agreements);
- Exploring the options for effecting pension changes including restructuring/derisking of pension schemes – e.g. moving from defined benefit to defined contribution, changing scheme benefit structures, closing schemes to new members, ceasing future benefit accrual and introducing or increasing member contributions;
- Advising on enhanced transfer value and pension increase exchange projects;
- Liaising with pensions regulators – including Pensions Authority, Pensions Ombudsman and Revenue Commissioner communications e.g. approval/registration of schemes, handling regulator queries updating regulators on scheme changes etc;
- Providing trustee advisory and training services – e.g. advising on conflicts of interest, indemnities, appointment and removal of trustees, trustee duties and obligations and establishing and operating IDR procedures Attending trustee meetings and providing trustee training;
- Advising on pension scheme wind-up and funding standard issues – e.g. triggering a pension wind-up, notifications, consultation, employer and trustee powers, dealing with scheme funding issues and exploring the options for addressing same;
- Advising on cross-border and pensions equality issues;
- Advising in relation to pensions investment management/custodianship matters – e.g. negotiating terms of agreements etc.;
- Advising on pension product and pension services provider issues – including reviewing pension product documentation, advising on Registered Administrator matters, drafting service level agreements and advising on product approval/compliance and related matters;
Contentious Pensions Matters
- Advising and representing clients in contentious pensions matters;
- Advising and representing clients in relation to Pensions Authority and Pensions Ombudsman investigations and disputes;
- Advising on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions.
Legal 500, 2016
Mason Hayes & Curran has assisted statutory body NAMA in investigations, and also advises on pension restructurings. Peggy Hughes heads the team.
- Providing advice to an IFSC based financial institution on proposed changes to the normal retirement age for employees.
- Advising the purchaser of a large pharmaceutical entity on the pensions aspects of that transaction.
- Advising a public sector body in relation to the interplay between its own pre-existing pension scheme and the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.