Certificate in Pensions and Applied Trusteeship

Start Date 13 March 2018 at 10:00 am
Assessment Assessment includes a 2,500-word written assignment.
Delivery Method Blended learning: onsite and online Tuesdays 6pm – 8:30pm.
CPD Hours

The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.

Course Leader Cian Monahan, Solicitor, Course Leader: C.Monahan@LawSociety.ie



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Short video introduction

Application information
The closing date for applications was Tuesday 06 March 2018. This deadline has now been extended. Late applications are accepted but confirmation of course registration may take a number of days as the deadline has passed. Thank you for bearing with us. To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment. We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee.

  • Member fee: €1550
  • Non-member fee: €1650 (this is inclusive of a supplemental fee).


Programme objectives
On completion of this course, participants will have:

  • An excellent understanding of the key legal issues pertaining to pensions law and practice and trusteeship in Ireland;
  • A comprehensive understanding of pensions legislation, pensions regulatory bodies and the functions and duties of trustees and registered administrators;
  • A thorough knowledge of the main pension scheme structures and what changes are expected to the pensions landscape in Ireland;
  • Up to date information on the latest pensions developments in Ireland such as the IORP II Directive and plans for the implementation of a universal pension scheme;
  • Confidence in dealing with challenging issues such as pensions adjustment orders, taxation, mergers and acquisitions;
  • A familiarity with recent case law which all have wide-ranging implications for trustees.

Programme structure and approach to learning
This course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of pensions law and trusteeship in Ireland. Delivered by experienced professionals, the course begins with an examination of the legislative and regulatory framework applicable to pensions in Ireland. The functions and powers of the Pensions Authority, the Revenue Commissioners, and the Pensions Ombudsman are reviewed, as are the respective duties and obligations of both the employer and the trustees of a pension scheme.

The certificate will analyse the main pension scheme structures such as defined contribution, defined benefit, personal pension plans, and PRSAs. The course will equip trustees with knowhow enabling them to fulfil their duties and will give insight into handling of challenging issues such as underfunding, scheme wind-ups, pensions adjustment orders, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, and scheme restructuring.

This course examines areas of growth and development for pensions in Ireland such as plans for auto-enrolment and master trusts. The diverse area of pension scheme governance will be discussed in detail and practical tips will be provided to ensure good governance procedures are in place.

The course features review of recent pensions related case law, such as the Element Six and Omega Pharma cases which have wide-ranging implications for trustees, employers, and scheme members. Finally, the effects of family law issues such as separation and divorce on pension rights are considered.

The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1:

  • Course introduction
  • Legislative and regulatory framework
  • The Pensions Ombudsman
  • The Pensions Authority

Module 2:

  • The main types of pension schemes
  • Public sector pensions
  • Pension adjustment orders
  • Pensions in a commercial transaction

Module 3:

  • The role of pension scheme trustees
  • Pension investment issues
  • Employer obligations

Module 4:

  • Taxation issues
  • Winding-up and restructuring of pension schemes
  • Post-retirement issues and the future for pensions in Ireland
  • Pension scheme governance


  • Workshop 1: Tuesday 24 April 2018
  • Workshop 2: Tuesday 15 May 2018
  • Workshop 3: Tuesday 12 June 2018

Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the student’s knowledge.

Who should attend?
This course is suitable for the following:

  • Trustees, corporate pensions advisors, registered administrators, pension scheme custodians;
  • Solicitors, barristers, legal executives and trainees;
  • Those in pension and legal departments of insurance companies, banks and building societies;
  • Actuaries, tax advisors, investment managers and pension consultants;
  • Public service pensions professionals;
  • Those working in representative bodies related to pensions and trusts; and
  • Professionals seeking to work in the pensions industry and the financial services industry.

Interested persons without a legal qualification are welcome to apply to attend the course. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €100.

Lecturers and tutors will be drawn from members of the legal profession and industry who have significant practice expertise in these areas. Previous lecturers have included:

  • James Campbell, Mercer
  • Deirdre Cummins, Matheson
  • Ian Devlin, Eversheds Sutherland
  • Sonya Dixon BL
  • Paul Kenny, Former Pensions Ombudsman
  • Thomas Kiely, Kiely McCarthy
  • Jamie McConville, LK Shields
  • Aidan McLoughlin, ITC
  • Sylvia McNeece, Headford Capital Pte Limited
  • Tommy Nielsen, Independent Trustee Company
  • John O’Connell, Trident Consulting
  • Avril Shorten, Mercer
  • Fiona Thornton, Eversheds Sutherland
  • Michael Wolfe, William Fry

*Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.



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