How does my pension scheme work?

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1 How does my pesio scheme work? A guide for members of occupatioal pesio schemes

2 The Pesios Authority Verschoyle House 28/30 Lower Mout Street Dubli 2 Tel: (01) LoCall: Fax: (01) Web: We have made every effort to esure that this iformatio booklet is correct, however o liability whatsoever is accepted by the Pesios Authority, its servats or agets for ay errors or omissios i the iformatio cotaied i this booklet or for ay loss occasioed to ay perso actig or refraiig from actig as a result of ay statemet i this booklet. Copyright the Pesios Authority. All rights reserved.

3 How does my pesio scheme work? The Pesios Authority is a statutory body set up uder the Pesios Act The Authority regulates occupatioal pesio schemes, trust RACs ad Persoal Retiremet Savigs Accouts (PRSAs) i Irelad. The Pesios Authority s missio is to support a sustaiable pesios system that will provide adequate ad reliable pesios for retired ad older people ad that achieves wide coverage. The Pesios Authority aims to achieve this by: 1. Safeguardig the iterests of occupatioal pesio scheme members ad PRSA holders through effective regulatio 2. Providig relevat iformatio ad guidace to the public ad those ivolved with pesios 3. Developig policy proposals ad supportig the Miister for ad Departmet of Social Protectio ad other govermet departmets through high quality policy advice ad techical support. 1

4 How does my pesio scheme work? Cotets 1. Itroductio 7 2. The importace of pesios 8 Why do I eed a pesio? 8 Will the State ot provide for my retiremet? 8 3. Occupatioal pesio schemes 10 What are occupatioal pesio schemes? 10 Who ca joi a occupatioal pesio scheme? 10 How do I kow if I am beig treated equally with regard to my pesio? 11 What if I am a part-time or fixed-term worker? 11 How is my pesio scheme established? 12 Who looks after my pesio? 12 Where do I get more iformatio o beig a trustee? 14 What are the mai types of occupatioal pesio scheme? 14 What iformatio should I be receivig about my pesio? Defied beefit schemes 17 Mai features of a fial salary DB scheme 17 Career average schemes 18 How do I kow there is eough moey i the scheme to provide my pesio? 19 Does the Pesios Authority moitor the fiacial stregth of DB pesio schemes? 20 What other obligatios do the trustees have with regard to the fudig of a DB scheme? Defied cotributio schemes 22 Mai features of a DC scheme 22 How is my retiremet fud ivested? 23 What iformatio ca I get about my ivestmet choices? 24 2

5 How does my pesio scheme work? 6. Hybrid pesio schemes 25 Combiatio hybrids 25 Self-auitisig DC schemes 26 Fial salary lump sum schemes 26 Uderpi arragemets 26 Cash balace schemes 27 Fixed beefit/beefit uit schemes Itegratio with the State pesio 28 What is a itegrated pesio scheme? 28 How does itegratio work? 29 How are cotributios calculated i a itegrated pesio scheme? 33 If I am ot etitled to a full State pesio, will the scheme take this ito accout? 33 Are depedats pesios itegrated with the State pesio? 34 If I am etitled to a qualified adult or a child depedat paymet i additio to my State pesio, will this be take ito accout? 34 If State beefits icrease after I retire, will the icreases be offset agaist my scheme pesio? 34 If I retire earlier tha 65, will the State pesio still be offset, eve though it is ot beig paid to me util I reach 65? 35 Will the icrease i the age at which State pesios are payable i future (66 from 2014, 67 from 2021, 68 from 2028) affect my occupatioal pesio? Membership of a pesio scheme 36 How do I joi a occupatioal pesio scheme? 36 Where ca I fid out about my scheme s beefits? 36 What cotributios am I required to pay to a pesio scheme? 39 What cotributio does my employer pay? 39 How do I kow if my cotributios have bee paid to the scheme? 39 Ca I make Additioal Volutary Cotributios AVCs? 40 How are my cotributios ivested? 40 Where ca I fid out about my pesio o a regular basis? 40 3

6 How does my pesio scheme work? Ca I use a olie pesios calculator to estimate my pesio? 42 What etitlemets do I have to keep my pesio scheme if I am o specified leave? 43 Do the trustees issue a report o the scheme? Beefits payable o death 46 Death i service 46 Death i retiremet 46 What iformatio should my depedats/beeficiaries receive if I die? Beefits payable o leavig service 48 How is my preserved beefit calculated? 49 How is my preserved beefit revalued? 50 How is my preserved beefit paid? 50 What happes if I die before my preserved beefits are payable? 51 Ca I take my pesio beefits with me whe I leave? 51 Whe ca I apply for a trasfer paymet? 52 Ca a trasfer paymet be made without my coset? 52 What iformatio should I receive if I leave the pesio scheme? 53 What iformatio should I receive if I leave my job? 54 Ca I forfeit my preserved beefits? Beefits payable o retiremet 57 Whe ca I receive beefits? 57 What beefits ca I receive at retiremet? 58 Ca I trasfer to a AMRF/ARF or take a taxable lump sum? 59 What iformatio should I receive whe I retire? 60 What is a auity? 60 How are my pesio beefits provided? 60 What do I eed to cosider whe buyig a auity? 61 4

7 How does my pesio scheme work? 12. Pesio tax reliefs 65 How much tax relief do I get o my cotributios to a pesio scheme? 65 What about Additioal Volutary Cotributios (AVCs)? 66 How does tax relief work? 66 How are employer cotributios to a pesio scheme treated? 66 Are pesio ivestmets taxed? 67 Is there a limit o the beefits payable from a pesio scheme? 67 Is there a maximum amout of retiremet fud that ca be built up? 68 Are pesios taxed i paymet? 68 Does the receipt of the State pesio affect the tax o my occupatioal pesio? 68 What tax is payable o lump sums? Fees ad charges 70 How do I kow the effect of fees ad charges that I am payig? Pesio scheme chages ad wid-up 72 Ca my pesio scheme be ameded? 72 Ca my accrued beefits be affected by a chage to the scheme? 72 What iformatio am I etitled to receive o ay chages? 73 Ca my pesio scheme be woud up? 74 What are the trustees resposibilities o wid-up? 74 How do trustees pay beefits o wid-up? 75 How do trustees calculate trasfer paymets? 75 What if there is a surplus i the scheme? 75 What happes if there is a deficit? 76 What iformatio are members etitled to o wid-up? 76 What happes if my employer buys or sells a busiess? Pesios o separatio or divorce 79 5

8 How does my pesio scheme work? Glossary of terms 80 Appedix A Trustees Aual Report 90 Whe must Aual Reports be made available? 91 What iformatio must be icluded i the Aual Report? 91 Appedix B Complaits 98 What if I have a complait about my State pesio? 98 What if I have a complait about my occupatioal pesio scheme? 99 What if I have a complait about my auity or ARF/AMRF? 101 Appedix C Useful addresses 102 6

9 How does my pesio scheme work? 1. Itroductio This booklet gives a overview of occupatioal pesio schemes, how they work ad the iformatio that must be give to scheme members. What does that mea? Do t be cofused by pesios jargo. See the Glossary for defiitios of terms i italics. If you joi a occupatioal pesio scheme, you are etitled to iformatio about your pesio beefits, how the scheme is ru ad how the pesio fud is performig. The trustees of the scheme must give you this iformatio. Your employer also has to give you certai iformatio. While trustees must give you this miimum iformatio by law, the Pesios Authority ecourages them to give members as much iformatio as possible ad to do so i a way that is easy to read ad uderstad. 7

10 How does my pesio scheme work? 2. The importace of pesios Why do I eed a pesio? Savig for retiremet is importat. People are livig loger ad leadig more active lives i retiremet. As a result it is more importat tha ever for you to thik about where your icome will come from whe you retire. It is ofte ot appreciated that membership of a pesio scheme ca be a extremely valuable asset. For example, if you were to buy a pesio from a isurace compay at retiremet of 10,000 per aum, you could eed a retiremet fud of 200,000 or more. So if your employer sposors a pesio scheme, it may be very worthwhile to become a member. Ad the sooer you start plaig for your retiremet the better. Will the State ot provide for my retiremet? Your State pesio will provide you with a basic level of retiremet icome, provided you qualify. The full sigle perso s State cotributory pesio is curretly (2012) per week, or approximately 12,000 per aum. The State provides three types of pesio: State Pesio (Trasitio) which is payable to people who reach age 65 (before 1 Jauary 2014) ad who have retired ad satisfied certai PRSI coditios; State Pesio (Cotributory) which is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028) to people who have satisfied certai PRSI coditios; ad 8

11 How does my pesio scheme work? State Pesio (No-Cotributory) which is payable at age 66 (age 67 from 2021, age 68 from 2028) as a meas-tested pesio for those who do ot qualify for the State Pesio (Cotributory) based o their PRSI cotributio record. To satisfy the meas test, your icome, as assessed i accordace with certai rules, must be below a certai level. If you wat to fid out more about State pesios you should obtai a copy of a booklet issued by the Departmet of Social Protectio called A Guide to Social Welfare Services (ref SW4). This booklet How does my pesio scheme work? maily provides iformatio relatig to occupatioal pesio schemes. For more iformatio o State pesios, persoal pesio plas ad PRSAs see the booklets What are my pesio optios? ad PRSAs A cosumer ad employers guide available from the Pesios Authority at 9

12 How does my pesio scheme work? 3. Occupatioal pesio schemes What are occupatioal pesio schemes? Also kow as compay pesio plas, these are set up by employers ad ca provide beefits icludig a tax free lump sum (withi certai limits), ad pesio icome i retiremet. These beefits will geerally be based o; your fial earigs (fial salary defied beefit schemes see sectio 4), or your average earigs throughout your career (career average defied beefit schemes see sectio 4), or the value of your pesio fud at retiremet (defied cotributio schemes see sectio 5). Apart from beefits o retiremet, pesio schemes ca provide beefits to depedats o death i service or death after retiremet. Pesio beefits are also portable ad eed ot be froze whe your employmet status chages. Who ca joi a occupatioal pesio scheme? There is o legal obligatio o a employer to set up a occupatioal pesio scheme, but if they do t, they eed to provide you with access to some form of pesio arragemet, i.e. a Persoal Retiremet Savigs Accout (PRSA). For more iformatio o PRSAs see PRSAs A cosumer ad employers guide, available from the Pesios Authority at If you are ot already a member of a occupatioal pesio scheme you should check ad see if your employer has such a scheme ad whether you are eligible to joi. 10

13 How does my pesio scheme work? How do I kow if I am beig treated equally with regard to my pesio? The priciple of equal pesio treatmet is that there should be o discrimiatio o ay of the ie discrimiatory grouds, such as geder, marital status or disability, i respect of ay rule of a pesio scheme. It applies i relatio to rules goverig such matters as: Access to the scheme Cotributio arragemets Etitlemets to ad calculatio of beefits Retiremet ages Depedats beefits Further details are set out i A Brief Guide to Equal Pesio Treatmet available from the Pesios Authority at What if I am a part-time or fixed-term worker? The Protectio of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 ad the Protectio of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 require that there is o discrimiatio betwee part-time ad fixed-term employees ad their comparable full-time couterparts. This will mea that if a employer provides a pesio scheme for its full-time ad/or permaet workers, the access to the scheme must also be possible for comparable part-time ad fixed-term workers, uless exclusio ca be justified o objective grouds. A exceptio to this is possible if a part-time employee works less tha 20% of the ormal hours of the comparable full-time employee. 11

14 How does my pesio scheme work? Further details are set out i FAQs o part-time work ad pesios ad the booklet What are my pesio optios?, both available from the Pesios Authority at How is my pesio scheme established? Occupatioal pesio schemes are ormally set up either uder trust or o a statutory basis. Statutory plas are set up by legislatio ad provide beefits for employees i the public sector or semi-state bodies. A trust is a legal arragemet used to establish a pesio scheme uder which trustees hold the assets of the pesio scheme i a trust fud for the beefit of the members of the scheme ad their depedats, ad for the purpose of providig icome i retiremet. Who looks after my pesio? Your rights as a member of a occupatioal pesio scheme are valuable ad importat to you ad your depedats. Where your scheme is set up uder trust, the scheme s assets are looked after by trustees o behalf of members, their depedats ad other beeficiaries. There are three types of scheme members: Active members those who are curretly i service Deferred members those who were members of the scheme but who have left service Pesioers those who are retired ad i receipt of a pesio 12

15 How does my pesio scheme work? Pesio schemes may also have other beeficiaries, such as depedats of members, who are etitled to beefits or would become etitled to beefits, for example o the death of a member. As your pesio may ot start for may years ad may cotiue log after you retire, your scheme must be maaged properly so it is able to pay your beefits whe they are due. Uder trust law ad the Pesios Act 1990, pesio scheme trustees must esure that schemes are ru properly ad they must protect your rights as a scheme member. I most pesio schemes, trustees do ot actually carry out the day-to-day ruig of the scheme. They usually appoit a pesios cosultat, a isurace broker or a life assurace compay to look after the scheme. Sometimes, they appoit a perso withi the compay to ru the scheme. Trustees must appoit a Registered Admiistrator to carry out certai fuctios relatig to the scheme, i particular to prepare the Trustees Aual Report ad aual beefit statemets for members. Registered Admiistrators are regulated by the Pesios Authority, ad a list of Registered Admiistrators ca be foud o the Pesios Authority s website No matter who looks after the day-to-day ruig of the scheme, trustees are still resposible for makig sure that members ca get full iformatio about the scheme ad their ow etitlemets. They are also resposible for whistle-blowig to the Pesios Authority if they thik somethig is seriously wrog. 13

16 How does my pesio scheme work? Where do I get more iformatio o beig a trustee? The Pesios Authority s Trustee Hadbook provides guidace for trustees o their duties ad resposibilities. This hadbook is available from the Pesios Authority at I some schemes, members are able to omiate represetatives to act as Member Nomiated Trustees. For more iformatio o this see the Pesios Authority s booklet Selectig Member Trustees at What are the mai types of occupatioal pesio scheme? There are two mai types of occupatioal pesio scheme: Defied beefit schemes provide a set level of pesio at retiremet, the amout of which ormally depeds o your service ad your earigs at retiremet or durig your career. (See sectio 4 for more iformatio.) Defied Cotributio schemes, where your ow cotributios ad your employer s cotributios are both ivested ad the proceeds used to buy a pesio ad/or other beefits at retiremet. The level of your pesio will deped o the amout of cotributios ivested, the retur o your ivestmets ad the cost of buyig your pesio at retiremet. (See sectio 5 for more iformatio.) A hybrid pesio scheme is oe which is either a full defied beefit scheme or a full defied cotributio scheme, but has some of the characteristics of each. There are may possible types of hybrid schemes, ad sectio 6 describes a umber of differet schemes i more detail. 14

17 How does my pesio scheme work? What iformatio should I be receivig about my pesio? No matter what type of pesio scheme is provided, by law trustees must provide certai iformatio about the operatio of the scheme. There are differet types of iformatio that trustees must provide, icludig: legal documets; basic scheme iformatio; idividual member iformatio; details of your pesio ivestmet choices, if ay; ad reports o the ruig of the scheme ad its fiacial positio. Throughout this booklet we will provide further details of the iformatio that you are etitled to receive i particular circumstaces. Legal documets Every pesio scheme is govered by a set of legal documets. These iclude: a trust deed or equivalet documet, which sets out how the scheme is govered; the rules of the scheme, which defies the terms ad coditios of the scheme, icludig eligibility coditios, the beefits payable from the scheme, ad the cotributios payable; ad amedmets or supplemets to the trust deed or the rules. 15

18 How does my pesio scheme work? Trustees must make these documets available at all times to: members; employees likely to become members; spouses; beeficiaries; ad trade uios. Oce you request these documets, you must be able to ispect them or receive a copy of them withi four weeks. The trustees are oly obliged to show you the parts of the documets that relate to your ow beefit etitlemets. The trustees may charge you a reasoable fee to receive a copy of the documets, but there ca be o charge for ispectig them. 16

19 How does my pesio scheme work? 4. Defied beefit schemes A defied beefit (DB) scheme fixes the beefit i advace usually as a proportio of the member s earigs whe they retire. For istace, a DB scheme might provide at retiremet a pesio of 1/80th of fial earigs for each year a employee was i the scheme. If a employee retired after 40 years, that employee would receive a pesio of 40/80ths (50%) of their fial earigs before retiremet. Such schemes are also kow as fial salary defied beefit schemes. I a DB scheme, it is ot possible to kow i advace how much the scheme is goig to cost. The beefits are fixed, ad the cotributios must be adjusted from time to time to make sure that the correct amout is beig accumulated to provide for them. It is usual i a DB scheme for the member s cotributio rate to be fixed (for example as a set percetage of salary) ad for the employer rate to icrease or reduce as eeded, though i some DB schemes both employer ad employee cotributio rates chage from time to time. However, it is importat to kow that DB scheme beefits are ot guarateed. If the scheme s assets are ot sufficiet to pay the beefits, ad the employer is ot i a positio to meet the shortfall, promised beefits may have to be reduced. Mai features of a fial salary DB scheme The followig are the mai features of a DB pesio scheme: Cotributio rates paid by employers vary, depedig o the outcomes of the regular actuarial valuatios. Members ca predict the beefits they will receive as a proportio of their earigs just before retiremet. 17

20 How does my pesio scheme work? The level of beefit payable to members ofte takes ito accout the level of State pesio paid to the member (this is kow as itegratio ad is explaied further i sectio 7). The higher the ivestmet retur achieved by the scheme, the lower the cotributio rate will be. O the other had, if ivestmet returs are poor, cotributio rates may have to be icreased to provide the promised beefits. The cost of buyig a pesio at retiremet affects the cotributio rate. I order to give some protectio to the security of the pesio promise, the Pesios Act, 1990 requires that each DB scheme check each year that it has accumulated eough assets to meet its liabilities accrued to date. This is called meetig the Fudig Stadard, ad if a scheme fails to meet this stadard, steps must be take to remedy the positio. Fial salary defied beefit schemes are geerally better suited to those who stay util retiremet as all of their beefits are the liked to their fial salary. Those who leave before retiremet ofte receive much lower beefits. Career average schemes Career average schemes are defied beefit i ature, but are a variatio of the traditioal defied beefit desig. The beefit offered is based ot o the earigs close to retiremet, but rather o the average earigs throughout the member s etire career. These earigs may be revalued up to the poit of retiremet i lie with some idex, for istace the Cosumer Price Idex (CPI). Such schemes are kow as Career Average Revalued Earigs (CARE) schemes. 18

21 How does my pesio scheme work? A employee whose earigs grow by more tha the revaluatio rate (for example through promotioal icreases) will get lower retiremet beefits from a career average scheme tha from a comparable fial salary scheme. How do I kow there is eough moey i the scheme to provide my pesio? Employees ad employers usually pay regular mothly paymets ito a pesio scheme ad the moey gathered is set aside i the scheme s trust fud. This fud is kept separate from the employer s busiess accouts, esurig that existig fuds will be available to pay members pesios eve if the employer goes out of busiess. At least every three years, the scheme s actuary values the liabilities of the scheme, compares this to the value of the scheme s assets ad calculates the amout of moey that must be cotributed ito the scheme i future years to meet the beefits that are payable. The actuarial valuatio is a report o the results of this review of the assets ad liabilities of the scheme at a specified date. It must be made available o request withi ie moths of the date of the actuarial valuatio. A copy of a actuarial valuatio report must be give to the followig withi four weeks of a request: members employees likely to become members spouses beeficiaries trade uios 19

22 How does my pesio scheme work? Trustees may charge you a reasoable fee to provide a copy of the report, but there ca be o charge for ispectio. Does the Pesios Authority moitor the fiacial stregth of DB pesio schemes? The Pesios Authority moitors the fiacial stregth of DB pesio schemes through the operatio of the Fudig Stadard requiremets uder the Pesios Act. The Fudig Stadard is a set of regulatios that require defied beefit pesio schemes to build up ad maitai eough fuds to pay members their pesio etitlemets were the fud to be woud up. At least every three years the actuary must prepare a actuarial fudig certificate (AFC) ad submit this to the Pesios Authority. A AFC idicates whether or ot a pesio scheme ca meet all liabilities that have bee accrued by members to the effective date of the certificate, were it to wid up at that date. These liabilities iclude the pesios payable to existig pesioers, the beefits payable to deferred members whe they reach retiremet age, ad the accrued beefits payable to active members assumig they left service at the effective date. From 2016 owards, the scheme will also eed to hold a risk reserve to allow for adverse future experiece relatig to the scheme s assets ad/or liabilities. If the scheme would ot meet its liabilities o wid-up, the trustees must submit a fudig proposal to the Pesios Authority that explais how they propose to deal with the Fudig Stadard deficit over the followig three years. I certai circumstaces, the Pesios Authority ca allow the trustees more time to rectify the scheme s fudig. 20

23 How does my pesio scheme work? What other obligatios do the trustees have with regard to the fudig of a DB scheme? The trustees have a umber of additioal obligatios: The actuary must iclude a iter-valuatio statemet i the Trustees Aual Report for each year. It must state whether, i the actuary s opiio, the scheme ca meet the Fudig Stadard at the last day of the period to which the aual report relates. If the trustees have previously submitted a fudig proposal to the Pesios Authority, the iter-valuatio statemet must state whether i the actuary s opiio, the scheme is o-track to meet the Fudig Stadard by the ed of the period of the fudig proposal. The trustees must otify the Pesios Authority if o statemet has bee made or a egative statemet is icluded i the Trustees Aual Report. The trustees must the have a full AFC prepared (ad, if relevat, a fudig proposal) with a effective date ot earlier tha the last day of the period to which the Trustees Aual Report relates. The trustees must submit that AFC to the Authority withi 12 moths of the last day of the period to which the aual report relates. 21

24 How does my pesio scheme work? 5. Defied cotributio schemes A defied cotributio (DC) scheme has a set cotributio for the employee ad a set cotributio for the employer. For example, i may defied cotributio schemes, the employer ad the employee each cotribute 5% of the member s earigs, or 10% i total. Some DC schemes allow members to choose the level of cotributio they wish to pay, with a related employer cotributio. The trust deed ad rules of a pesio scheme (or idividual otificatios to members) will set out the cotributio rates payable by employees ad the employer. Cotributios are ivested o behalf of each scheme member. The retiremet beefits for each member deped o how much moey has bee built up by the member s retiremet date ad so it is ot possible to kow i advace what pesio beefits a member will receive. Mai features of a DC scheme The followig are the mai features of a DC pesio scheme: Cotributio rates are fixed i advace employees ad employers kow what they have committed to pay. Members will ot ormally kow util very close to retiremet what their beefits will be. The higher the ivestmet retur achieved by the scheme before retiremet, the better the pesio beefits will be. O the other had, if ivestmet returs are poor, especially i the years just before retiremet, retiremet beefits will be lower tha expected. 22

25 How does my pesio scheme work? I a DC scheme, the member builds up a fud by retiremet age, which is used to buy a retiremet pesio, i.e. a auity. The cost of the pesio is ukow i advace, ad it is to the member s advatage if the cost is low, but detrimetal if the cost of buyig a pesio at retiremet is high. If a member s earigs icrease rapidly throughout their workig life, ad especially towards the ed, their DC beefits may be low relative to their earigs just before retiremet. Cotributios are usually allocated uiformly across all members as a percetage of pesioable earigs there is o discrimiatio betwee those who stay util retiremet ad those who leave early. DC schemes may suit a more mobile worker, as the full value of accrued beefits ca be more easily trasferred betwee employers. I cotrast, if a defied beefit scheme is uderfuded, the trustees may ot permit the paymet of the full value of accrued beefits to aother scheme. How is my retiremet fud ivested? As a member of a defied cotributio scheme or if there is a DC elemet to your defied beefit scheme, you may be etitled to make some decisios about how your retiremet fud is ivested. For example, you may be able to split your pesio savigs betwee low-risk, medium-risk ad high-risk ivestmet fuds. If you do ot choose to allocate your savigs to differet fuds, your retiremet fud will be ivested i lie with the pesio scheme s default ivestmet strategy. 23

26 How does my pesio scheme work? As you approach retiremet age you should be careful to reassess your ivestmet choices to esure that your retiremet fud is ot ivested i assets that are too high risk, particularly if you are plaig to use your retiremet fud to take some cash or purchase a auity at retiremet. High risk ivestmets such as equities could icur a severe loss at a time whe you ca least afford it. What iformatio ca I get about my ivestmet choices? If there are ivestmet alteratives ope to you, you are etitled to the followig iformatio withi three moths of requestig it: the ivestmet alteratives available; the default ivestmet strategy; the idetity of the ivestmet maager(s); the ivestmet portfolio, risk exposures ad the costs related to ivestmets; the ivestmet objectives, the likely risk ad retur, ad the type ad diversificatio of assets of each ivestmet alterative; whe you may chage your ivestmet choices (kow as switchig); ay fees ad charges that effectively reduce your cotributios ad/or the rate of retur; the cotact ame ad address for iquiries about the ivestmet alteratives; ad if the scheme rules cotai a trustees disclaimer with regard to poor ivestmet returs, a statemet to that effect. 24

27 How does my pesio scheme work? 6. Hybrid pesio schemes I a defied cotributio scheme, the member geerally bears the full risk (of payig higher costs or receivig reduced beefits) if ivestmet returs or pesio costs are ot as good as expected. I a defied beefit scheme, the employer usually takes that risk ad pays higher cotributios i order to maitai the agreed level of beefits. I hybrid schemes, the risk is shared betwee the employer ad employees. As a result, hybrid schemes may be provided where a defied cotributio scheme is ot cosidered suitable ad a defied beefit scheme is ot felt to be a feasible or affordable alterative. This sectio looks at a umber of differet types of hybrid desig, compares them with defied beefit ad defied cotributio schemes ad describes the mai features ad differeces i each case. The schemes covered are combiatio hybrids, self-auitisig DC schemes, fial salary lump sum schemes, uderpi arragemets, cash balace schemes ad fixed beefit/beefit uit schemes. Combiatio schemes I a combiatio scheme, a member may be accumulatig two types of beefit simultaeously. This would typically be a defied beefit elemet for a portio of icome ad a defied cotributio elemet o ay earigs over that amout. The experiece of members of combiatio hybrid schemes will deped o what proportio of their earigs falls withi the defied beefit rules, what proportio uder the defied cotributio rules ad the rate of cotributio for the defied cotributio elemet. Uder combiatio schemes, members o lower earigs will geerally be almost etirely i the defied beefit sectio, ad will have predictable retiremet beefits. Those o higher earigs will have less predictable beefits, ad bear more ivestmet ad pesio cost risk. 25

28 How does my pesio scheme work? Self-auitisig DC schemes These schemes operate idetically to defied cotributio schemes util a member retires. At that poit, the accumulated fud is coverted to pesio icome, ot at the market rate for pesio costs (auity rates), but i accordace with a process which is set out i the rules of the scheme. The pesio is the paid from the scheme. The retiremet beefits are more predictable, because the cost of covertig the accumulated fud at retiremet ito pesio is more predictable. However, the beefit will still deped o the ivestmet retur eared before retiremet. Fial salary lump sum schemes Uder these types of schemes, the retiremet beefit is expressed as a lump sum at retiremet, rather tha as a pesio. For example, the rules of the scheme may provide a lump sum at retiremet of 20% of fial salary for each year of service. If a member retired with 40 years service, a lump sum of 20% times 40, i.e. 800% of fial earigs would be used to buy a pesio for that member at the market cost at that date. Members of these schemes ca predict the lump sum they will be etitled to at retiremet (as a percetage of fial earigs) but will ot kow the pesio beefit that this will purchase, which will deped o the cost of buyig a pesio at that time. Uderpi arragemets I a uderpi scheme, there is both a defied beefit ad defied cotributio basis for beefits. At retiremet, the member receives a beefit based o whichever calculatio provides the better result. For istace, a scheme may have a employer ad employee cotributio rate of 6% each, with a guaratee that at retiremet, a pesio of at least 1% of earigs per year of service would be paid as a miimum. 26

29 How does my pesio scheme work? Cash balace schemes I a cash balace scheme, a member s beefit is a etitlemet to a lump sum at retiremet, i a similar fashio to a traditioal defied cotributio scheme, which is the coverted ito a auity. The differece is that the amout i the member s accout is ot directly related to the returs achieved o the uderlyig ivestmets. The returs may be guarateed, or smoothed (to offset ay high or low peaks) or subject to some form of uderwritig by the scheme. As a result, member beefits may be slightly more predictable. The effect of this approach may be to make cotributios less predictable. However, if the cotributio rate is fixed, the result will be that ivestmet gais ad losses will be shared amog members. Sice the total amout of ivestmet risk has ot chaged the mechaism for achievig a equitable sharig of this risk amogst members may be quite complex. Fixed beefit/beefit uit schemes These schemes are defied beefit i ature but without ay lik to earigs a member usually accumulates a fixed moetary amout of aual pesio every year. The amout of pesio grated i ay year depeds o the amout of the cotributio made, how log the member has util retiremet ad the actuarial factors beig used by the scheme. At retiremet, the member receives a pesio equal to the total amout of the pesio built up each year. 27

30 How does my pesio scheme work? 7. Itegratio with the State pesio A sigificat umber of defied beefit schemes ad some defied cotributio schemes make a allowace for the State pesio whe providig a pesio from the scheme. This is kow as itegratio i the private sector ad coordiatio i the public sector. What is a itegrated pesio scheme? A itegrated scheme is oe where the pesio payable, or the desig of the beefit promise made, takes ito accout the State pesio. A itegrated scheme looks at the State pesio as part of the total pesio package promised to employees o retiremet. Oe reaso for this is that both employers ad employees make substatial social isurace (PRSI) cotributios ad these, i tur, etitle scheme members to substatial Social Welfare beefits, icludig State pesio. Itegratio is used as a meas of takig ito accout the beefits payable uder the Social Welfare system to calculate: The amout of pesio payable from a pesio scheme, so that the combied pesio from both sources (State pesio ad occupatioal pesio) is at the level beig aimed for i the scheme s desig; ad The level of cotributios payable by the employee towards the cost of their occupatioal pesio, so that the cotributios payable to a occupatioal pesio scheme reflect the offset from scheme beefits to allow for the State pesio. 28

31 How does my pesio scheme work? How does itegratio work? There are may ways i which itegratio ca be achieved. Differet methods are used from oe scheme to aother ad betwee defied beefit ad defied cotributio schemes. The examples give below show the methods most frequetly used. The examples show below assume a aual State pesio of 12,000 (2012). Itegratio by salary offset The most commo method of operatig a itegrated pesio scheme is by salary offset. This meas that the employer will regard the State beefit as takig care of pesio rights i relatio to a particular part of salary. Sice this part of the member s salary is beig pesioed by the State pesio it is deducted from the member s actual salary, to arrive at a figure for pesioable salary. The pesio scheme the provides a pesio based o the pesioable salary figure. The two parts added together (i.e. the occupatioal pesio ad the State pesio) the give the iteded total pesio, based o the full salary. The most commo beefit promise i private sector pesio schemes is a maximum pesio of 40/60ths (two-thirds) of pesioable salary at ormal pesioable age based o 40 years service. If the overall target beefit, icludig State pesio, is to be a maximum of 40/60ths of salary, the State pesio offset will be 1.5 times the State pesio. The method works as follows: 29

32 How does my pesio scheme work? Example Pesio promise: 40/60ths (maximum) Actual salary: 45,000 State pesio offset: (1.5 x 12,000) = 18,000 Pesioable salary: ( 45,000-18,000) = 27,000 Scheme pesio: 40/60ths x 27,000 = 18,000 State pesio: 12,000 Total pesio: 12, ,000 = 30,000 (40/60ths of 45,000) If the scheme member s service is less tha the maximum of 40 years, the State pesio offset does ot chage, but the beefit calculatio takes accout of the reduced service. The followig example assumes that service at ormal retiremet age will be 30 years. Example Pesio promise: 30/60ths Actual salary: 45,000 State pesio offset (1.5 x 12,000) = 18,000 Pesioable salary: ( 45,000-18,000) = 27,000 Scheme pesio: 30/60ths x 27,000 = 13,500 State pesio: 12,000 Total pesio: 12, ,500 = 25,500 This member s State pesio etitlemet of 12,000 is payable i full, as it is based o the member s total career, ot just the time spet with this particular employer. This is why the total pesio is 25,500 ad ot 22,500 (which would be 30/60ths of 45,000). 30

33 How does my pesio scheme work? The amout of State pesio offset will vary from scheme to scheme, depedig upo the overall beefit promise which the scheme is desiged to give. The most commo beefit i the public sector is a maximum pesio of 40/80ths (oe-half) of salary ad this will be itegrated with State pesios for those who are etitled to them. I additio, a o-itegrated lump sum of 120/80ths (1.5 times) salary is payable. Sice the pesio promise uder the scheme is o a differet scale 40/80ths istead of 40/60ths the the State pesio offset is differet, to reflect the fact that the overall target pesio is ow a maximum of 50% rather tha two-thirds of salary. The calculatio looks like this: Example Pesio promise: 40/80ths Actual salary: 45,000 State pesio offset: (2.0 x 12,000) = 24,000 Pesioable salary: ( 45,000-24,000) = 21,000 Scheme pesio: 40/80ths x 21,000 = 10,500 State pesio: 12,000 Total pesio: 12, ,500 = 22,500 (40/80ths of 45,000) I this case, the State pesio of 12,000 provides the required pesio of 50% of the first 24,000 of salary. The employer s pesio scheme will the provide the balace based o the salary i excess of this amout. 31

34 How does my pesio scheme work? Itegratio by pesio offset Aother method of arrivig at a itegrated pesio is by the use of a pesio offset. Agai, a member s total pesio will be made up joitly of State ad occupatioal pesios. Usig the pesio offset method, a overall pesio is first calculated ad the State pesio etitlemet is simply deducted from that amout. The differece is the pesio payable from the occupatioal pesio scheme. Example Pesio promise: 40/60ths Actual salary: 45,000 State pesio: 12,000 Scheme pesio: (40/60ths x 45,000) - 12,000 = 18,000 Total pesio: 12, ,000 = 30,000 (40/60ths of 45,000) Where service is shorter tha the maximum of 40 years, the pesio offset would usually be calculated as a fractio of the State pesio, reflectig the shorter service. Thus, if the maximum service credit was 40 years, a perso who could complete 30 years as a member of the scheme would have a deductio of 30/40ths of the State pesio take ito accout. This method of itegratio gives exactly the same results as the salary offset method above. 32

35 How does my pesio scheme work? How are cotributios calculated i a itegrated pesio scheme? The effect of itegratio o employee cotributios depeds o the method of itegratio used. As a geeral rule the salary offset method is the most satisfactory way of dealig with member cotributios, sice the member will be payig a cotributio that is directly related to the salary actually beig pesioed uder the occupatioal pesio scheme. If the salary offset method is used, member cotributios ted to be based o pesioable salary which is lower tha the member s actual salary. Example Actual salary: 45,000 State pesio offset: (1.5 x 12,000) = 18,000 Pesioable salary: 27,000 ( 45,000-18,000) Employee cotributio: 5% x 27,000 = 1,350 If the pesio offset method of itegratio is used, the employee cotributio would usually be based o the actual salary. A lower rate, (e.g. 3% rather tha 5%), may apply i a case like this. If I am ot etitled to a full State pesio, will the scheme take this ito accout? That really depeds o the rules of the occupatioal pesio scheme. The stadard State pesio offset is usually based o the full State pesio, i.e. that payable to a fully qualified cotributor. If you will ot qualify for a full State pesio, you should check with the trustees of your scheme or with your employer to see if the rules permit or eve require that trustees or employer grat a higher scheme pesio to compesate for ay shortfall. 33

36 How does my pesio scheme work? Are depedats pesios itegrated with the State pesio? Geerally, occupatioal pesio schemes do ot use separate calculatios to itegrate depedats pesios payable uder the Social Welfare system with death beefits payable uder a pesio scheme. However, a member s ow pesio etitlemet uder a occupatioal pesio scheme reflects the fact that the member has State pesio etitlemets. There is, therefore, effective itegratio of depedats beefits also, because depedats pesios uder a occupatioal pesio scheme are usually calculated as a percetage of the member s pesio. If I am etitled to a qualified adult or a child depedat paymet i additio to my State pesio, will this be take ito accout? It is most uusual for such paymets to be take ito accout. There is o guaratee that a Social Welfare cotributor will be etitled to receive such a paymet, as ay adult depedat must pass a meas test i the first place; i additio, such a paymet would be made by the Social Welfare system oly while the depedat was alive or, i the case of a child, while depedecy exists. Therefore, because such a paymet is ot guarateed for the lifetime of the pesioer, it is ulikely to be take ito accout i the itegratio formula. If State beefits icrease after I retire, will the icreases be offset agaist my scheme pesio? No, it is ulawful to reduce a occupatioal pesio which is already i paymet to reflect a icrease i the State pesio. 34

37 How does my pesio scheme work? If I retire earlier tha 65, will the State pesio still be offset, eve though it is ot beig paid to me util I reach 65? This depeds very much o the rules of your occupatioal pesio scheme. I some schemes that use a salary offset, retiremet before age 65 may be dealt with by meas of a bridgig pesio. This meas that the pesio scheme would pay a higher pesio for a period, util you reached the age at which State beefits commece. This temporary bridgig pesio would the cease, to be replaced by your State beefit. If there is o bridgig pesio, the the State beefit is offset, regardless of the age of retiremet. I schemes which use a pesio offset method, the reductio i the scheme pesio would ormally be made oly at the time whe the State beefit actually becomes payable. You should check the positio with the trustees of your scheme. Will the icrease i the age at which State pesios are payable i future (66 from 2014, 67 from 2021, 68 from 2028) affect my occupatioal pesio? This depeds very much o the rules of your occupatioal pesio scheme. It is also possible that scheme rules may be ameded i future to take accout of the chage to State pesio age. 35

38 How does my pesio scheme work? 8. Membership of a pesio scheme How do I joi a occupatioal pesio scheme? Each occupatioal pesio scheme has eligibility rules. These rules set out who ca joi the scheme, whe they ca joi ad the beefits available to them. Some employers make it a coditio of employmet that employees must joi the scheme whe eligible. May pesio schemes automatically iclude employees for a lump sum death-i-service beefit immediately o joiig employmet (eve if the employee caot joi the scheme for pesio beefits or ca oly joi for pesio beefits at a later date). If you have t bee provided with ay iformatio, you should ask your employer if there is a pesio scheme, what sort of scheme it is, ad whether you ca joi. Where ca I fid out about my scheme s beefits? Whether you are thikig of joiig a pesio scheme or are a logstadig member of a scheme, you are etitled to kow all about the scheme ad how it works. This basic iformatio is usually cotaied i a explaatory booklet. The booklet should cotai the followig basic scheme iformatio: who is eligible to joi the scheme; if membership is obligatory for employees; coditios of membership; whether the scheme is a defied beefit scheme or a defied cotributio scheme; 36

39 How does my pesio scheme work? i a public sector scheme, the title of the legislatio settig up that scheme; how cotributios are calculated; arragemets (if ay) for additioal volutary cotributios (AVCs); tax approval status; beefit details type of beefits ad how they are calculated; to whom beefits are payable; ay coditios of beefits; a explaatio of ay guaratees of beefits; whether beefits are fuded or are secured by isurace policies; ay optios ope to members takig beefits; which beefits (if ay) are discretioary; provisio for pesio icreases; where a pesio scheme provides for discretioary pesio icreases, a statemet that details of ay such icreases paid will be set out i the Trustees Aual Report a explaatio of how the scheme s icome cotiuace pla works, if it has oe; a statemet about fiacial, techical ad other risks associated with the scheme (if this is ot already set out i the Trustees Aual Report); 37

40 How does my pesio scheme work? address ad cotact ame for iquiries; who may amed terms ad sigificat coditios; cofirmatio of scheme registratio with the Pesios Authority ad registratio umber; a statemet about pesio adjustmet orders; a statemet about itegratio with the State pesio; if the employer has a obligatio to pay the beefits if the scheme has isufficiet assets to do so, details of that obligatio; ad for defied beefit schemes, a statemet to the effect that there is o guaratee that the scheme will have sufficiet fuds to pay the beefits promised ad that it is therefore possible that the beefits payable uder the scheme may have to be reduced. A copy of the basic scheme iformatio must be give to ew members of the scheme withi two moths of joiig. It should also be give withi four weeks of a request to the followig: Members; Employees likely to become members; Spouses; Beeficiaries Trade uios If ay of the basic scheme iformatio chages, members must be iformed withi four weeks. 38

41 How does my pesio scheme work? What cotributios am I required to pay to a pesio scheme? While some ( o-cotributory ) schemes do ot require members to pay cotributios, members are ofte asked to cotribute towards the cost of a pesio scheme. Cotributios ted to be set as a percetage of salary or pesioable salary. If you joi the scheme, you will be required to pay the level of cotributio set out i the scheme s rules (or i your idividual member otificatio). What cotributio does my employer pay? I a defied cotributio scheme, the employer s cotributio is set out i the scheme s rules (or i idividual otificatios to members). I a defied beefit scheme the employer ormally pays cotributios at the level eeded to fud the beefits promised i accordace with the advice of the scheme s actuary. How do I kow if my cotributios have bee paid to the scheme? Every moth, your employer must provide a statemet to its employees ad the trustees or other persos to whom the employer seds cotributios. This statemet should specify: the amout deducted from your salary ad set to the trustees o your behalf; ad i the case of a defied cotributio scheme, the amout of employer cotributios paid to the trustees o your behalf i the precedig moth. This statemet to employees is ofte icluded i employee pay slips. 39

42 How does my pesio scheme work? Ca I make Additioal Volutary Cotributios AVCs? AVCs are cotributios that you ca make i additio to your ormal cotributios to icrease your retiremet beefits. AVCs are oly permitted if the rules of the particular scheme permit AVCs to be made. If your scheme s rules do ot permit AVCs to be made, the a Stadard PRSA must be offered by your employer for the purpose of makig AVCs. Civil ad public servats ca make additioal cotributios to purchase additioal years of service uder their public sector scheme. For more iformatio, see the Pesios Authority s booklet Purchase of Notioal Service (PNS) ad Additioal Volutary Cotributios (AVCs), available at How are my cotributios ivested? If you are a member of a defied cotributio scheme or you are makig AVCs, you may be provided with a rage of ivestmet optios. You should carefully review the iformatio provided o ay optio offered before makig ay decisios. It is importat that you periodically review ay ivestmet decisio take, especially i the years ruig up to retiremet as you may wish to protect ay ivestmet gais made. I a defied beefit scheme, your ormal cotributios are ivested by the trustees alogside the employer s cotributios i the mai fud supportig the scheme. 40 Where ca I fid out about my pesio o a regular basis? If you are a member of a pesio scheme, you are etitled to see those documets that relate specifically to you ad your membership. For active members this icludes a persoal beefit statemet, prepared aually your aual beefit statemet.

43 How does my pesio scheme work? At least oce i every scheme year, trustees must provide iformatio to each active member of the scheme. The iformatio must relate to a date ot earlier tha six moths before the date the statemet is issued. The aual beefit statemet must cotai the followig iformatio about you ad your pesio: Your persoal details ad details relatig to your membership of the pla The beefits payable at your ormal retiremet age, based o your preset salary, ad how your beefits are calculated Beefits payable from ormal retiremet age, assumig that you left service o a stated date, ad the method of calculatio The value of your retiremet fud, the trasfer value of your retiremet fud ad iformatio about whether those values are guarateed How your cotributios are calculated, your cotributios paid to date ad the amouts of ay trasfers received A statemet of each cotributio paid or credited ad trasfers received sice the previous statemet ad the et amout ivested if differet Iformatio o beefits from additioal volutary cotributios (AVCs) or fuds trasferred from aother pesio scheme or PRSA Iformatio o ay relevat pesio adjustmet orders Beefits payable o your death i service The ames of the pesio scheme trustees A cotact ame ad address for more iformatio Various regulatory statemets DB DC 41

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