S.I. No. 129/2003 - Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003 (Section 24) (Commencement) Order, 2003

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, in exercise of the powers conferred on her by section 1 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003 (No. 4 of 2003), hereby orders as follows:


1. This Order may be cited as the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003 (Section 24) (Commencement) Order, 2003.


2. Section 24 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2003 shall come into operation on 3 April, 2003.


GIVEN under the Official Seal of the Minister for Social

and Family Affairs, this 3rd day of April 2003..





Minister for Social and Family Affairs


(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

This order provides for the commencement of Section 24 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2003 which provides, by way of a Schedule, for amendments to the Pensions Act, 1990 .

Paragraph 1 of the Schedule is a technical amendment.

Paragraph 2 provides that where a pension scheme would not satisfy the Funding Standard transfer payments for people who leave that scheme for any reason may be reduced so that those who remain in the scheme are not disadvantaged against those who leave.

Paragraph 3 clarifies the power vested in the Pensions Board under which the Board may extend the time limit for submission of an actuarial funding certificate (AFC) as set out in section 43.

Paragraph 4 amends section 49 (3) of the Pensions Act 1990 to ensure it can be used by the Pensions Board to respond to the current funding challenges facing defined benefit schemes as a result of a fall in the value of pension assets.

Paragraphs 5 & 15 amend section 58A and 121 of the Pensions Act, 1990 to make it clear that where details of the remittance are included in the employee's payslip this will satisfy the requirement relating to the provision of a statement in relation to employees. The amendment also defines the word “month” as the interpretation will differ depending on employers pay cycles.

Paragraphs 6, 7 & 8 comprise a technical amendment to make clear that all or any of the equality officers who are staff of the Office of the Director of Equality Investigations have jurisdiction to decide disputes under Part VII of the Pensions Act.

Paragraph 9 removes a provision inserted by the Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2002 relating to a PRSA providers accounts

Paragraph 10 is a technical amendment.

Paragraphs 11, 12 & 13 amend sections 111, 113 and 116 which require PRSA providers to issue certificates and statements to PRSA contributors at specified times and in specified circumstances. These sections are being amended to require the PRSA provider, in preparing those documents, to comply with the advice of the PRSA/Scheme Actuary and with the guidance of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland (SOAI). Paragraph 11 also extends the information which may, by Regulations, be required to be provided before the conclusion of a PRSA contract.

Paragraph 14 amends section 119(3) to require a PRSA actuary to comply with specified guidance when preparing his determination under section 119(1).

Paragraph 16amends the Second Schedule, which deals with the calculation of the preserved benefits which must be provided to members who leave a pension scheme. As currently stated, the Second Schedule provides for the double counting of a benefit entitlement in certain circumstances. This is inadvertent, and results in the provision of an inappropriate preserved benefit.

Paragraph 17 amends the Third Schedule, which sets out the details of the funding standard which applies to all defined benefit schemes. Certain of the cross-references between the Third Schedule and the sections of the Act are incorrect, and result in gaps in the scheme of benefits to be funded.