Consultants Mercer has warned that the Brexit vote could have a serious impact on Irish pensions, workforce planning and expat workers.

Mercer said that companies still face great uncertainty until the UK’s "exit strategy" from the European Union is defined and trade negotiations with the EU are completed.  

Aisling Kelly, a senior retirement consultant at Mercer, said that defined benefit pension plan trustees should assess the likely impact of future market movements on plan funding positions and review their financing and risk management strategies, in particular relating to any currency risks they face.

Ms Kelly also predicted a more turbulent time for defined contribution (DC) members looking to provide income from their retirement savings. 

"Many people could now see their financial health and their pensions suffer some short-term volatility. Anyone seeking security by purchasing an income for life may find themselves more vulnerable," she added.

Brian Griffin, Mercer Partner and Investments Business Leader, said that employers and pension scheme trustees will need to monitor events closely to consider the impact of the referendum. 

He said the possibility of further referenda on EU membership in other countries across Europe may plague European equity markets for some time.

"Schemes need to make sure that there is appropriate portfolio diversification and that investment governance arrangements are robust enough to react appropriately to opportunities presented by market volatility," he added.

Meanwhile, Mercer also said that while it is not yet known what restrictions will be imposed on the free movement of people, it is likely that restrictions will be placed on the number of EU workers within the UK workforce. 

"This may have significant implications for Irish companies with a UK workforce and these companies should review their workforce plans," Leslie Ruttle, Talent Business Leader at Mercer stated.