Auto enrolment legislation approved by Oireachtas

Auto enrolment legislation approved by Oireachtas

Legislation providing for the automatic enrolment of around 800,000 workers into pension schemes next year has been approved by the Oireachtas.

The Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System Bill 2024 provides for a new retirement savings scheme for workers who are not already members of a pension scheme. It aims to increase pension coverage and overall pension adequacy in Ireland.

At present, Ireland is the only OECD country that does not yet operate an auto enrolment or similar system as a means of promoting pension savings.

The bill also establishes an independent public body, the National Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Authority, to administer the system and ensure compliance, under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been selected as the preferred bidder to provide this administration as a managed service.

The authority will identify and enrol participants, collect and pool contributions, arrange for the investment of contributions, manage participant accounts including opt-outs, suspensions and opt-ins, and facilitate the payment of savings at retirement. The aim is for employers to have minimal administrative work in relation to auto rnrolment.

TCS has been the pensions administration provider for NEST in the UK since 2011. Although distinct in design, NEST (the National Employment Savings Trust) is the UK government’s equivalent of the auto enrolment scheme, which currently services around 13 million participants.

TCS has a global delivery centre based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, which employs close to 1,400 people and provides a variety of services including pension administration, cyber security, IT support, and customer service.

Social protection minister Heather Humphreys said: “Auto-enrolment is a truly transformative policy that I am proud to deliver for Ireland. It will make sure that hard working men and women across the country will be able to save for their future, with help from their employers and the State.

“I am delighted that this historic legislation has now passed both Houses of the Oireachtas and look forward to it being enacted shortly.”

She continued: “I am also pleased that we have concluded the procurement process to source a managed service for the provision and operation of the Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Scheme and look forward to engaging with TCS as our preferred bidder for these services.”

The minister added: “Auto enrolment has been talked about for decades — now it is finally happening. With the completion of these two major milestones, the AE train is fast approaching its destination and we are very much on track for delivery of this landmark initiative for the people of Ireland.”

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