Posted on Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Irish Government's Pensions Framework Deeply Flawed
The Government’s new pensions framework is deeply flawed. This can be seen, for example, in the fact that 47,000 older people in Ireland have no entitlement to a pension and these numbers may well grow in the years ahead. Government’s failure to introduce a universal pension entitlement in Ireland means that many people will have no pension. This situation is totally unacceptable and could have been addressed effectively by introducing a universal pension entitlement.
The most recent statistics available from the Central Statistics Office show that 10.9 per cent of the Irish population are over 65 years of age – some 480,000 people. One in ten of these people live in poverty (i.e. with less than €224 a week for a single person). These numbers have been falling, which is welcome, but it remains a concern that so many of Ireland’s senior citizens are living on so little. The Government’s new Pensions Framework fails to address this issue effectively or convincingly.
A good way to mark the European Year Against Poverty and Social Exclusion (i.e. 2010) would be to commit to ensuring that every older person in Ireland has access to a universal pension sufficient to ensure they can live life with dignity.
Social Justice Ireland is very concerned about the management of these proposed funds and urges Government to ensure that pension funds are not being handed over to be managed by the discredited private pensions industry.
To summarise:

  • Government's new Pensions Framework is deeply flawed.
  • 47,000 people will still have no entitlement to a pension.
  • Introducing a universal pension is possible and would be a far fairer option.
  • Government should not hand control of people’s pensions over to a deeply discredited private pensions industry

The full text of the Government's Pensions Framework can be downloaded below

The case for a universal state pension is very well made in this chapter by Gerry Hughes The is a chapter in the book Making Choices - Choosing Futures: Ireland at a Crossroads.  The full book can be downloaded below.