The Minister for Finance, Mr Brian Cowen, TD, announced today (Friday 9 March) that he has made Regulations enabling credit unions to make Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSA’s) available to their members.
The effect of the Regulations (Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption from Additional Services Requirements) Regulations 2007) will be that a credit union wishing to make PRSA’s available to its members will not have to apply to the Financial Regulator on an individual basis for permission to do so once certain conditions are satisfied.
From a public policy perspective, the customer base of the credit unions represent a key target area for the promotion of personal pension coverage.
The Minister stated: “As a result of these new regulations credit union members will have the opportunity to access Personal Retirement Savings Accounts through their credit union. This is a timely development with many people receiving their SSIA savings in the coming months, and I would encourage those credit union members to take this opportunity to enhance their pension provision by availing of this credit union service.”
The regulations can be accessed at (Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption from Additional Services Requirements) Regulations 2007
Notes for Editors
A PRSA is a contract between an individual and an authorised PRSA provider in the form of an investment account. Benefits are determined by the contributions paid by the contributor and the investment return on those contributions.
The Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption from Additional Services Requirements) Regulations 2007 exempts the provision by a credit union of PRSAs to its members from the Additional Services Requirements of the Credit Union Act, 1997.
Prior to the new regulations if a credit union wished to make PRSA’s available to its members it had to apply on an individual basis under Section 48 of the Credit Union Act, 1997 (Power to provide additional services). These regulations exempt credit unions from having to go through this process once certain conditions are met.
The new regulations come on foot of discussions held by the Department of Finance with the Pensions Board, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the Registrar of Credit Unions and following consultation with the credit union representative bodies.