Royal London Ireland expands into pensions market

Subsidiary of UK mutual is launching a range of products for retirement savers through financial brokers

Royal London Ireland has become the first new pension provider in the Irish market for more than a decade and the first life assurance company to enter the pensions market here in more than 30 years.

The Dublin-based company, a subsidiary of the UK’s Royal London Mutual Insurance Society, was already selling life assurance in the Irish market, but is now making what it said was a multimillion euro investment by launching a range of pension products that will be available through financial brokers.

It said the move would add to consumer choice and increase competition.

“Following several years of behind-the-scenes work, intense consultation with financial brokers and a multimillion capital investment, we have been able to create a compelling pension proposition that will deliver value for money and competitive pricing for customers, combined with access to two leading asset managers Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) and BlackRock,” Royal London Ireland chief executive Noel Freeley said.


Royal London Ireland will initially launch a personal retirement bond (PRB) and an approved retirement fund (ARF). These pension products will have no fixed or monetary policy fees and no fund-switching charges.

“This expansion represents the next stage of development in our ongoing growth in Ireland. We’re in a position where we’re market leader in broker protection products and where we have increased our broker protection estimated market share from 22.5 per cent to 30.2 per cent since 2020, so we have a strong distribution platform to build from,” Mr Freeley said.

In the UK, Royal London is the largest mutual life and pensions provider looking after about 21,000 workplace pension schemes with more than 1.6 million members. It had assets under management, managed by Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), of €174 billion as of the end of June 2022, including funds managed on behalf of third parties. Overall it has some 8.8 million policies in force and more than 4,200 employees.

“Royal London Group is a major provider of pensions in the UK and I hope this expansion into the pension market in Ireland illustrates our ambition for Royal London Ireland, our long term and ongoing commitment to the broker market, and the opportunity to replicate our success in the UK pensions market,” Mr Freeley added.

Royal London Ireland’s company heritage goes back almost 200 years to the Caledonian Insurance Company’s first office opening on Dublin’s Dame Street in 1824. It is now based on St Stephen’s Green.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics