| 7.8°C Dublin

Pension scheme trustees to train or face €2k fine

Trustees of pension schemes have been urged to undertake training or face an on-the-spot fine of €2,000.

The Pensions Board has warned that training is a requirement for trustees of both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes at least every two years.

It has been outlined that from February 1, there will be an obligation for trustees to have periodic training, and also an obligation for employers to provide that training, according to Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of the Pensions Board.

Attractive

Mr Kennedy said that there were some 100,000 pension schemes in the country, which means there are probably 200,000 trustees in the State.

The move comes as pension investors were advised to switch from cash into Irish retail and commercial property, given the current attractive values in the market.

Adrian Daly, the chief executive of pension management company Source, said it would change its current cash allocation of 10pc into Irish property assets through the Irish Property Unit Trust (IPUT).

"Current yields of 7.5pc can sustain significant erosion of rental income and still compare very well with other asset classes," he said.

IPUT has been established for more than 40 years, has assets under management of about €500m in more than 50 retail, industrial and office properties, mainly in prime Dublin and Cork locations.

"IPUT will offer our clients an ideal opportunity to get into well-let Irish property at current attractive values," Mr Daly said.

This is the second major switch in asset allocation by Source in recent months.

Source provides an online "funds supermarket", which allows members of defined contribution schemes to choose from more than 140 funds managed by 10 fund managers, as well as the four default investment strategies that Source has developed itself.

Caution

In the last quarter of 2009, Source decided to reduce the equity allocation in its four investment strategies by between 5pc and 15pc, and switch the proceeds into index-linked Government bonds.

"We believe that the global recovery in 2010 is likely to be uneven and that reflects our caution over equities over the next 12 months," Mr Daly said.