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Holmes provides the full range of pension advices including advices on scheme design, scheme set up, scheme administration, scheme mergers and winding ups.

In addition, we advise on the pension aspects of mergers and acquisitions including the conduct of due diligence, the negotiation of related warranties and the merging, or de-merging, of pension schemes. We advise on a range of issues dealing with scheme administration and governance issues on a day-to-day basis.

We also advise employers and trustees generally on all regulatory and compliance aspects of pension scheme administration including the handling of complaints and Pensions Authority enquiries and investigations. We advise companies and trustees on the full range of issues in relation to all aspects of occupational pension provisions, including:

  • Administration and governance of schemes
We are involved in all aspects of pension plan design and implementation.

Typically, this involves drafting or reviewing a wide range of documentation for all types of pension plan. We have expertise in drafting pension trust documentation, member specific communications and agreements entered with third party service providers.

  • Amendment to schemes
  • Corporate Support
We regularly advise on the pension aspects of corporate transactions, including completing due diligence exercises and negotiating and drafting the required commercial documentation.

  • Disputes and investigations

We advise clients in relation to Pensions Authority or Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman investigations.

We also provide advice on a wide range of pension disputes and contentious pension matters generally. We have successfully represented clients in applications before the WRC and the Labour Court.

  • Documentation

We provide specialist drafting, amending and reviewing of trust deeds and explanatory booklets.

  • Employer insolvency

We have the expertise, having acted alongside our restructuring and insolvency team in the most high-profile corporate insolvencies, in advising trustees, investors, and insolvency practitioners on how to handle the appointment of a receiver, examiner or liquidator to scheme sponsors.

  • Equality issues

Equal treatment and discrimination advice, including gender, marital or civil status and age.

  • Family law pension issues

We provide a full range of advices on family law pension issues, including divorce, judicial separation, annulment and separation.

  • Funding

We advise trustees, employers and providers of investment products on the issues relating to funding defined benefit schemes

  • Investments

We advise trustees on the key legal issues that they should consider in determining whether to invest pension scheme assets in a particular investment structure or asset class.

This service includes legal advice in relation to whether the proposed investment is consistent with investment restrictions and trustee investment powers, as prescribed by the Pensions Act and Regulations, trust deed or other constitutional documentation of the scheme, and where applicable, the scheme's Statement of Investment Policy Principles.

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We have extensive experience in providing pensions specific advice on the impact of GDPR. Pension schemes are acutely affected by the new requirements of the GDPR. 

Our specialist pensions lawyers have advised trustees and employers on their revised obligations and how to ensure that they are compliant with the new regime.

  • Life offices

Working alongside the firm’s insurance group, we advise life offices operating in Ireland on their pension products, such as personal retirement savings accounts and sovereign annuities, and on internal restructurings.

  • Retirement planning

We provide a full range of advices on retirement planning, including tax aspects, Approved Retirement Funds (ARF's) and annuities

  • Service provider advice

We regularly advise pensions product providers, working with them to ensure that their products are designed and operated in a manner that is compliant with the relevant legislative provisions.

  • Trustee advice and training

The decisions made, and actions taken, by trustees are key to the effective functioning of a pension plan.

Our expert lawyers provide trustee advisory and training services in order to assist trustees in performing their role effectively and in line with the ever-increasing regulatory requirements.

  • Wind-up of pension plans and schemes

We regularly advise on issues that need to be addressed before, during and following the wind-up of a pension plan. We have extensive experience in providing such advice to employers and trustees alike