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Pension Council should consider Universal State Pension for Ireland

The introduction of a Universal State Pension for Ireland should be considered by the Pension Council announced today by the Tanaiste, Joan Burton TD. A fully-costed proposal showing how this could be done has been published by Social Justice Ireland. This proposal would:

  • replace the existing State Contributory and Non-Contributory Pension;
  • provide everyone of pension age with a weekly pension of €230.30 (i.e., the equivalent of the current State Contributory Pension), rising gradually over time;
  • finance this pension not by increasing tax rates, but by adjusting our current system - principally by making tax breaks for pension contributions available to everyone at the standard rate;
  • promote gender equality and reduce income inequality.

The concept of a basic universal State pension, based on residency, was one of two proposals made by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its April 2013 report (OECD Reviews of Pension Systems: IRELAND). This report was commissioned by the Department of Social Protection.

Details of Social Justice Ireland's proposals for a Universal State Pension together with the full study may be accessed here.