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Retirement planning for the Childcare Sector

Conor Phelan              April 13, 2015

Early Childhood Ireland is a registered charity who support and represent people and organisations who are involved in the development and delivery of early childhood care and education in Ireland. They have over 3,300 members who are dedicated to ensuring that every child in Ireland gets a loving, secure and stimulating start in life.

As well as offering support and representation, Early Childhood Ireland also offer their member organisations access to a wide range of products and services from mobile phones to bus hire. In seeking to expand these services Early Childhood Ireland sought proposals from ten financial services brokers in September 2014 to provide a pension scheme and retirement planning service to their members. After an extensive vetting and evaluation process, BHP Insurances were selected to implement and manage this new service.

As specialists in the not-for-profit and charity sector, we are delighted to be involved in this new partnership with Early Childhood Ireland to introduce a comprehensive pension and retirement planning service for all their member organisations. The new scheme and service will be formally launched at the Early Childhood Ireland  Play on the Brain Conference & AGM in Croke Park on the 17th & 18th of April, including a specific workshop to cover all aspects of pensions, retirement, tax and estate planning.

This important new arrangement has come about following detailed discussions over recent months between BHP Insurances and Early Childhood Ireland in order to better understand the requirement of the sector and to ensure that the scheme will meet these requirements. The scheme has a number of aims, including the following:-

  • Increase the uptake of pensions in the childcare sector
  • Offer women financial independence in retirement
  • Provide a value for money pension offering to members
  • Ensure organisations are compliant with pensions legislation
  • Increase the level of pensions awareness within the sector

The main vehicle for increasing pension coverage in the sector is a new pension scheme which has been developed jointly by BHP Insurances and Early Childhood Ireland. The scheme has already been introduced to staff in Early Childhood Ireland’s head office in Tallaght where it has proved to be very popular and enjoyed a very successful launch. The roll out of the scheme to the all member organisations will begin in the coming weeks.

All parties involved in the design of the scheme are acutely aware of the financial pressures the sector faces and the scheme reflects this by having a low charging structure. It also recognises the fact that as the sector is staffed almost exclusively by women it needs to have a great degree of flexibility around contributions. This means that any break in contributions e.g. while on maternity leave or a career break, can be easily accommodated. The scheme does, of course, also enjoy the traditional benefits of a pension such as tax relief on contributions, tax free investment growth and a tax free lump sum at retirement.

We look forward to seeing you in Croke Park on the 17th & 18th of April, however, if in advance of the conference you wish to discuss any aspect of pensions or retirement planning please feel free to contact us on 01 6202030 or at info@bhpinsurance.ie.

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