Peggy leads the Pensions Law team within our Employment Law and Benefits team. She is an experienced pensions lawyer who has worked in-house and in private practice on pension law related matters.
Peggy has advised sponsoring employers, both Irish and multinational, trustees of pension schemes (both lay and professional) and individuals on a wide range of pensions-related issues including their respective obligations, duties and rights under the relevant law, service/contractual and pension scheme documentation. She advises on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions and has also advised on pensions law as applicable to insurance companies in relation to their pension products and related documentation.
More recently Peggy has acted as an independent expert in the assessment of trustee actions and reponses under related pension scheme internal dispute resolution procedures.
- Provided trustee training including feed into specific training on compliance with GDPR
- Provided bespoke trustee advice in preparation for Pensions Authority audit meetings
- Acting as an independent expert to review the operation of pensions IDR process and to report back to the scheme trustees
- Advised client on possible options/solutions for employees approaching maximum pension contribution limits.
- Advised trustees in relation to employer approach to alter future accrual of benefits within a defined benefit scheme following withdrawal of wind-up notice.
- Advised employer on the incorporation of different benefit structures for different categories of member of a defined benefit scheme and documented same along with other amendments.
- Drafted numerous pension scheme deeds and related documentation (both defined benefit and defined contribution) and consolidated and updated suites of pension scheme documentation for a number of pension schemes.
- Advised numerous clients on the merger/amalgamation of pension schemes.
- Advised on the establishment of cross border pension schemes and related issues.
- Advised numerous clients, both trustee and employer, in relation to submission of funding proposals to the Pensions Authority including advising on related issues of benefit changes and applications to the Pensions Authority to reduce benefits pursuant to Section 50 of the Pensions Act.
- Advised numerous clients, both trustee and employer, in relation to the winding up of defined benefit pension schemes and related issues of contribution demands, employer contractual matters and winding up priority issues as they arose. Drafting of related bespoke winding up funding agreements as necessary.
- Advised the trustees of a number of defined benefit pension schemes in relation to the management of funding surpluses.
- Advised on liability management exercises within defined benefit schemes including pensions increase exchanges and enhanced transfer values.
- Advised trustees and employers on the implications of changes to the state pension age.
- Advised in relation to pensions on insolvency including bespoke agreements with creditors in relation to pension funds.
- Advised on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions.
- Provided bespoke pension trustee training.
Chambers and Partners, 2018
"Great to work with, very pleasant, responsive and client-focused."
Legal 500, 2018
Peggy Hughes comes highly recommended for her “encyclopaedic knowledge of Irish pension law”.
Chambers and Partners, 2017
“Quick to respond and has a good grasp of the technical aspects."
Legal 500, 2017
Peggy provides "advice that leans on extensive industry experience."
Chambers and Partners, 2015
"She is a problem solver, and is very flexible in reviewing all the alternatives."
Client Choice, 2015
“Peggy is an exceptional professional who shows a degree of dedication to her clients' needs that surpasses expectation.”
Speaking Engagements & Teaching
- Peggy speaks at events on various aspects of pension practice and has conducted tutorials at the Law Society of Ireland on the pensions issues within Family Law.
Areas of Expertise
Employment Law & Benefits Law
Employee Incentives & Benefits
Member, Law Society of Ireland
Member and Former Council Member, Association of Pensions Lawyers in Ireland (APLI)
Former DC Committee Member, Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF)
Member, International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA)
Committee Member, Connect Women in Pensions
University of Westminster London, LLB (Hons) (1995)
Law Society of Ireland, Diploma in Applied Finance Law (2004)