Irish Life Health
Welcome to Ireland’s newest health Insurer, Irish Life Health. Bringing fresh options and innovation to the health insurance market.
Irish Life
Irish Life the largest life and pensions group and fund manager in Ireland, employing 2,000 people and servicing one million customers.
Irish Life Investment Managers
Managing assets in excess 39bn, ILIM manages money on behalf of multinational corporations, charities and domestics.

A guide to making the master trust decision

Understanding your options

With the introduction of IORP II, all group pension plans in Ireland now have to make changes and adjustments to meet the new regulations.

For most company plans, there are two main options to consider. You can adapt your standalone plan to comply with IORP II, which involves numerous reviews, policies, procedures and other deliverables. Or, you can move your plan to a master trust arrangement.

Irish Life has options in place that will work for everyone, so it’s just a matter of finding the best solution for your plan. Our client services team is on hand to help you navigate this change, so you can reach out to us anytime for support.

We’ve also put together some great resources to help you understand your options in a little more detail. So, just download our master trust guide below or scroll down and watch our series of bite-sized on-demand videos. 

What is a master trust and what are the key benefits?

One of the biggest benefits of a master trust is the ability to meet regulatory requirements centrally, rather than individual plans tackling this aspect as standalone entities. Master trusts have qualified, professional trustees and governance is managed centrally. So, moving to a master trust essentially removes this hefty responsibility from the employer, to be managed and overseen by the master trust and its trustees.

Master trusts also offer economies of scale, so the costs of compliance with IORP II and the additional governance requirements are more easily absorbed in a master trust than they might be in a traditional, standalone plan.

What are the key things to consider before moving to master trust?

To understand if a master trust is the right solution for your group or company pension plan, it's important to compare defined contribution (DC) master trusts and standalone DC plans from a few different vantage points:

Benefit design & identity

For many firms, developing and offering best-in-class benefits packages is a crucial aspect of attracting and maintaining talent in a competitive market.

So, does joining a master trust mean forgoing that and committing to a more homogenous pension benefit offering?

Member engagement

Many firms are probably wondering whether member engagement will be negatively impacted in joining a master trust. The answer?


Now, let's compare standalone DC plans and DC master trusts in terms of governance:


The cost of IORP II are significant. So, how do standalone DC plans and DC master trusts compare when it comes to costs and expenses?  

So, what does the master trust decision really come down to?  

Why choose the Irish Life EMPOWER Master Trust?

As the largest DC (defined contribution) pension provider in Ireland, Irish Life has a wealth of industry experience and customer knowledge. We’ve used our insights and collaborated with expert advisors to bring you an exceptional master trust solution.

Discover more about the Irish Life EMPOWER Master Trust today by clicking HERE, reaching out to your relationship manager, or emailing our team at for more information. 

WARNING: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest.
WARNING: If you invest in this product you will not have any access to your money until you retire.
WARNING: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.
WARNING: This product may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.

Securities Lending: The assets in these funds may be used for the purposes of securities lending in order to earn an additional return for the fund. While securities lending increases the level of risk within the fund it also provides an opportunity to increase the investment.

Irish Life Assurance plc is the product provider for the EMPOWER Master Trust as sponsored by Irish Life Financial Services Ltd., with Irish Pensions Trust Ltd., appointed as Trustees.

Irish Life Investment Managers is the Investment Manager for the EMPOWER Master Trust.

Irish Life Investment Managers Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Financial advice in relation to this product is provided by Irish Life Financial Services Limited.

Irish Life Financial Services Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Further detail on the operation of the EMPOWER Master Trust is made available to participating employers.