Irish Life will close defined benefit pension plans

By Business & Finance
15 January 2018

Ireland’s largest life insurance and pensions company plans to close its defined pension plan to future accruals in June.

The news comes despite a big surplus on the schemes. Irish Life stated it would make no further contributions to the plan where retirement payments are linked to the final salary of employees, transferring affected staff to a defined contribution plan, where benefits are linked to the performance of the employer and staff investments in individuals’ pension plans.

A spokeswoman for Irish Life said that the 30 June, 2018 was the date of ending future accrual on two defined benefit schemes – the Irish Life Staff Benefits Scheme and Canada Life Irish Pension Scheme.

The firm had also closed defined benefit plans to new employees in 2006, aligning with many other companies in Ireland and abroad.

Members affected by this will be briefed on an updated package for transferring to a new defined contribution scheme.

The schemes hold a surplus of around €200 million with 3,000 members. The spokeswoman for Irish Life said the reason for the decision followed a detailed review of liabilities and the overall costs of the scheme.