Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
912. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her Department is responsible for and responsive to inquiries from the general public as to tracing their unclaimed pension entitlements; if its host mailing service and associated efforts are limited solely to inquiries from pension scheme administrators; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31099/19]
My Department has arrangements in place to assist with member tracing. Where the administrator of a pension scheme is unable to trace a member using their own resources they can use my Department’s host mailing service.
Following discussions between my Department, the Pensions Authority and the Irish Association of Pension Funds, a revised protocol was put in place in October 2013. The protocol sets out the Department’s requirements for organisations using the host mailing service. The pension provider must have made an unsuccessful attempt to contact the scheme member. The Department will forward letters to the last known address of the member based on its records if this address differs from that which the pension provider has. It is important to note that in all such cases the Department does not share personal data with any third party, and relies on Article 6(f) of the GDPR to perform the communication with the customer.
The Department does not hold information on individuals' private pension entitlements and therefore the host mailing service cannot help people trace unclaimed pensions. If a person believes that they may have an unclaimed pension entitlement the person should contact former employers and pension companies so they can check their records.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.