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Trustees And Pension Schemes In Ireland

Listed author(s):
  • Bridget McNally


    (Department of Economics Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

  • Jim Stewart


    (Trinity College, Dublin)

Purpose – This article highlights the gap between the legal responsibilities and the practice of pension fund trustees in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach – The paper relies on primary and secondary data analysis of trustee practice and enforcement cases to highlight the gap between law and practice. Findings - The article finds that there is an inconsistency between legal requirement and practice in the calibre of trustee and trustee training across Irish occupational pension schemes. This has adverse consequences for pension governance and performance. Practical implications. - The findings raise the question as to whether there should be mandatory qualifications for trustees or mandatory standardised trustee training in a prescribed format, with which trustees should comply. It also questions whether there should be a governance code for trustees to ensure a minimum standard or target level of competence and good governance on the part of pension scheme trustees. Originality/value – There is a distinct lack of emphasis in the literature on the inconsistency between the extent of the responsibilities which trustees ultimately carry, and the legal exposure this potentially creates for trustees who unduly rely on other trustees or third parties in the trustee decision making process

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n237-13.pdf.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n237-13.pdf
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
Web page:

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  1. Clark, Gordon L. & Caerlewy-Smith, Emiko & Marshall, John C., 2006. "Pension fund trustee competence: decision making in problems relevant to investment practice," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 91-110, March.
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