I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 157 together.
As you are aware, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s (DEASP) A Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018 – 2023 was published last year. While implementation of the Roadmap is primarily a matter for my colleague, Ms Regina Doherty T.D., the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and her Department, the Interdepartmental Pensions Reform and Taxation Group (IDPRTG) was allocated a number of specific measures. The IDPRTG is chaired by the Department of Finance and includes representatives from this Department as well as from the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection, Revenue, and the Pensions Authority.
Strand 3 of the Roadmap is concerned with improving the governance and regulation of supplementary pensions to, among other things, achieve scale, improve standards, and simplify the provisions of pensions. The actions allocated to the IDPRTG under the Roadmap derive in the main from Strand 3, and the terms of reference of the Group reflects this focus.
Action 3.14 commits to ‘Undertake a broad review of the utilisation of the ARF option and consider whether regulatory oversight of this product is fit for purpose'. Officials from my Department have examined submissions from interested parties, as part of the IDPRTG’s work in reviewing the utilisation of the ARF product.
The IDPRTG’s work on the review of ARFs is still underway and the Group hope to finalise their work and report to me on these matters shortly.