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Certificate in Pensions Law & Applied Trusteeship

Start Date
Wednesday 25 October 2023 at 6:15 PM
2,500 word written assignment.
Delivery Method
Live lectures and workshops online 6pm to 9pm. Also available to view on demand. It is possible to complete this course entirely online.
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
Geraldine Rafferty, Course Leader: G.Rafferty@LawSociety.ie
This item is not available to book online


pensions authority logo

This certificate has been approved by The Pensions Authority  as a course that meets the Authority's requirement in relation to trustee qualifications under paragraph 107 of the Code of Practice for trustees of occupational pension schemes and trust RACs.

Application information

We are no longer accepting applications for this course. If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List. 

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment please see our methods of payment .

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €175 bringing the total course fee to €1,900. No fees are required prior to approval.


Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content.

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • An excellent understanding of the key legal issues pertaining to current pensions law and practice and trusteeship in Ireland.
  • A comprehensive understanding of pensions legislation and all relevant pensions regulatory bodies.
  • A detailed knowledge and understanding of the obligations  and duties of trustees under the Pensions Act 1990 as amended , regulations and trust law principles.
  • 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, Master Trusts, pension scheme consolidation and auto enrolment.
  • Confidence in dealing with challenging issues such as pensions adjustment orders, taxation, mergers and acquisitions;
  • A familiarity with recent case law and legislation 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 the most up to date position on 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 recent developments in the area including implementation of IORPs ll , Master Trusts and auto enrolment.  The course will focus on the obligations of trustees, 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.


The programme is based on the following module scheme:

Module 1: Legislation and Regulatory Framework

  • Course introduction,
  • Legislative and regulatory framework,
  • The Pensions Ombudsman,
  • The Pensions Authority.
  • Other relevant regulatory authorities.

Module 2: The Future of Pensions in Ireland

  • The future of pensions in Ireland,
  • Master Trusts, pension scheme consolidation,
  • Auto enrolment, the future of defined benefit schemes.

Module 3: Pension Scheme Structures; Pension Adjustment Orders; Pensions in Commercial Transactions

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

Module 4: The Role of Trustees; Employer Obligations

  • The role of pension scheme trustees,
  • Trustees obligations under the Pensions Act as amended and regulations.
  • Pension investment issues,
  • Employer obligations.

Module 5: Taxation Issues ; Winding Up & Restructuring of Schemes; Post-Retirement Issues; Scheme Governance

  • Taxation issues,
  • Winding-up and restructuring of pension schemes,
  • Pension scheme governance, management and oversight.


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

    • Workshop 1: 29 November 2023
    • Workshop 2: 17 January 2024
    • Workshop 3: 31 January 2024


    2,500 word written assignment.

    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.
    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 of €100.


    Lecturers and tutors will be drawn from those with expertise in the field of pensions law and trusteeship. Previous lecturers have included the following:

    • Stephen Gillick, Partner Mason Hayes and Curran,
    • Lydia Leonard, The Pensions Authority,
    • John Pender FSAI Actuary, Remuneration, Industrial Relations and Pensions Division, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform,
    • Aidan McLoughlin, Solicitor, Director, ITC,
    • Jane McKeever, Pensions Senior Associate, Matheson,
    • Ian Devlin, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland,
    • Deirdre Cummins, Partner, Matheson,
    • Mary-Rose McGovern, Director of Adjudication and Legal Services, Office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman,
    • Ian Devlin, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland,
    • Muriel Walls, Partner, Walls and Twomey,
    • Michael Wolfe, Partner, William Fry,
    • Tom Mulcahy, Employee Benefits Consultant, Aon.
    • Liam Connellan, Partner & Head of Pensions , Byrne Wallace LLP
    • Paul Kenny, Former Pensions Ombudsman
    • Kathleen Gormley Barrister at the Pensions Authority
    • Sonya Dixon, Barrister at the Law Library
    • Conor Stokes, Adjudication Officer, Workplace Relations Commission
    • Aoife Sexton, Chief Privacy Officer, Truata


    We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet. 

    The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2023. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


    Geraldine Rafferty,  Course Leader: G.Rafferty@LawSociety.ie

    *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.

    This certificate has been approved by The Pensions Authority .

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    This item is not available to book online