Plan the future

The findings of the Quarterly National Household Survey for the last three months of 2015 were published recently. 

Figures show that less than half of workers are making plans for any sort of retirement pension. This highlights again the challenges facing the Government and the pensions industry as the State’s population ages.

The Pension Provision report showed under 47% of people with jobs had a pension, while only 46% of working women had made any provision for their retirement. This shows a major fall compared to the same period in 2009 when just over half — 51% — of the State’s working population had provided for a pension for their retirement, and 49% of employed women had done so.

The survey, which is carried out by the Central Statistics Office covered most types of pension — occupational, personal, and both company and executive pensions. Governments and think tanks across Europe have long warned about the costs and the likelihood that many people will face poverty in retirement as they will be totally dependent on State pensions.

Currently there are 677,000 Irish pensioners over the age of 66 who draw a State Pension of € 233.30 each week. By 2050, there will be 1.8million over this age and while there were 6 workers for every retiree in 2010, by 2050 there will only be 2. There is the distinct possibility that by 2050, the government of the day will not have the funds to pay out the State Pension then.

Policy here has long been to encourage people with jobs to take out a private pension through deferred tax credits. The figures show that just 14% of workers aged 20 to 24, and 36% of workers between 25 to 34 years have pension plans and should prioritise a reopening of the debate on this topic. 39% of those surveyed said that they were unable to afford to start funding a pension. Auto-enrolment of pensions for employers will soon be obligatory.


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