The Retirement Pensions Act (Chapter 514 of the Laws of Malta) which was published by means of Act No. XVI of 2011 in the Government Gazette on the 5th August 2011 came into force on the 1st January 2015. This Act repeals and replaces the Special Funds (Regulation) Act (Chapter 450 of the Laws of Malta), regulations and directives issued thereunder.
The Retirement Pensions Act provides the legal framework for the licensing and regulation of retirement schemes, whether personal or occupational, retirement funds and service providers related thereto, as well as the requirement of recognition for persons carrying on back-office administrative activities. The scope of the Act is similar to that of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act, that is, it provides for a regulatory framework for occupational retirement schemes, retirement funds, and service providers but specifically makes reference to schemes setup as personal retirement schemes.
The Legal Notices issued under the Retirement Pension Act have been published in the Government Gazette No. 19,364 on 6 January 2015. In addition, the Pension Rules for Occupational Retirement Schemes, Personal Retirement Schemes, Retirement Funds and Service Providers, were issued by the MFSA under the Retirement Pensions Act. The Regulations and Pension Rules were issued following a consultation process with the industry and a feedback statement was issued by the MFSA and is accessible on the MFSA website.
The purpose of the Regulations and Pension Rules is to supplement the legal framework for the licensing and regulation of retirement schemes, retirement funds and service providers related thereto, as well as for the requirement of recognition for persons carrying on back-office administrative activities and includes more detailed regulatory requirements by which persons licensed or recognised under the Act are required to comply. The Retirement Pensions Act, secondary legislation and Pension Rules also transpose the provisions of Directive 2003/41/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 3rd June 2003 on the activities and supervision of the institutions for occupational retirement provision (the IORP Directive). The IORP Directive had already been transposed in the Special Funds (Regulation) Act and secondary legislation issued under such Act.
Persons currently registered under the Special Funds (Regulation) Act have until the 31st December 2015 to comply with the new Act. Until such time as a licence is granted by the Authority under the Act, the Retirement Pensions (Transitional Provisions) Regulations, 2014 provide that such persons will continue to be governed by the provisions of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.