Pensions Update, Spring 2012

09-03-2012

Legislation facilitating the introduction of sovereign annuities was passed in June 2011.Subsequently the Pensions Board published FAQs for trustees of occupational pension schemes and insurers on the use and registration of sovereign annuities. Disclosure regulations have now been issued which impose disclosure obligations on trustees who purchase sovereign annuities.

There has been much coverage in the press recently in relation to the potential break-up of the euro. Commentators are predicting that, if the break-up happens at all, either one or two countries that participate in the euro will leave, or the entire euro will collapse. If Ireland were to leave the euro or if the euro currency were to collapse,commentators have suggested the likely outcome is that Ireland would return to the Irish punt. Trustees will need to consult with their investment managers should this occur.

The recent case of O’Hara v ACC Bank plc will be of interest to trustees and employers alike. In this recently decided High Court case, two customers brought proceedings against ACC Bank plc in relation to highly geared investments made by them. Both investments, while initially successful, proved disastrous. The customers alleged various misrepresentations by the Bank as to the safety of and returns from the investments concerned.

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