Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013
Direction by Board to trustees to wind up scheme
31. The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following section after section 50A:
“ Direction by Board to trustees to wind up scheme
50B. (1) The Board may, subject to this section, by notice in writing direct the trustees of a relevant scheme (other than a regulatory own funds scheme) to wind up the scheme with effect from such date as is specified in the notice if—
(a) the trustees of the scheme fail to submit an actuarial funding certificate within the period specified in section 43,
(b) the actuarial funding certificate certifies that the scheme does not satisfy the funding standard and the trustees of the scheme have not submitted a funding proposal in accordance with section 49,
(c) the trustees of the scheme fail to submit a funding standard reserve certificate within the period specified in section 43,
(d) the funding standard reserve certificate certifies that the scheme does not satisfy the funding standard reserve and the trustees of the scheme have not submitted a funding proposal in accordance with section 49, or
(e) the trustees of the scheme have failed to comply with a direction under subsection (1) or (1A) of section 50 within the period specified in subsection (3)(a)(i) of that section.
(2) A direction under this section shall be in writing and may include directions to—
(a) the trustees of the scheme,
(b) any employer to whom the scheme relates, or
(c) the registered administrator of the scheme,
in respect of the manner, including the relevant time limits, within which the winding up is to proceed.
(3) A person shall comply with a direction given to him or her under this section.
(4) The winding up of a scheme pursuant to a direction under this section shall have the same effect as if it had been made under powers conferred by or under the rules of the scheme.
(5) A direction under this section may be made, and shall be complied with, notwithstanding any enactment or rule of law or any rule of the scheme or any agreement which would otherwise prevent the winding up or require the implementation of any procedure or the obtaining of any consent to effect the winding up of the scheme.
(6) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section and, without prejudice to the foregoing, the regulations may provide that before the Board makes a direction under this section—
(a) the Board may by notice in writing require a specified person to furnish the Board with such information as may be prescribed within the period specified in the notice,
(b) the trustees of the scheme and the employer to whom the scheme relates shall make such notifications and provide such information to such persons, and in such manner as may be prescribed,
(c) such persons as may be prescribed shall be afforded an opportunity to make submissions to the Board in respect of the proposed direction, and
(d) prior to making a direction, the Board shall consider any such submissions.
(7) Where the Board makes a direction under this section in respect of a scheme, any direction made under subsection (1) or (1A) of section 50 and referred to in subsection (1)(e), in relation to the scheme shall cease to have effect from the date on which the direction under this section comes into effect.
(8) The cessation of a direction made under subsection (1) or (1A) of section 50, pursuant to subsection (7), shall not prejudice the initiation of a prosecution of any person for having failed to comply with that direction or any other requirement of that section, prior to the date of the direction under this section.
(9) The Board shall, not later than 21 days after the date on which it makes a direction under this section, publish a notice in a daily newspaper circulating in the State, setting out particulars of the direction.
(10) An appeal to the High Court on a point of law from a direction under this section may be brought not later than 21 days after the date of publication of the notice under subsection (9) by such person as may be prescribed.
(11) A direction under this section shall not come into effect—
(a) during the period of 21 days after the date of publication of the notice under subsection (9), or
(b) if an appeal against the direction is brought during the period referred to in paragraph (a), before the date of the final determination of the appeal or any appeal from such determination or the withdrawal of either such appeal.
(12) In this section, ‘employer’ in relation to a scheme means the current or former employer of any person in respect of whom benefits are or have been payable under the scheme.”.