You are here

Policy issues concerning Pension

Ireland has an increasingly ageing population and it is imperative, both from the perspective of the individual and the supporting structures, that ageing in place becomes the default approach.


Government should increase in core social welfare rates of €7 per week in Budget 2021 and set a three-year target for Government to reach the benchmark of 27.5 per cent of average earnings.  In the forthcoming Budget Government should also complete the equalisation of Jobseeker’s rates for young people under 26, introduce a cost of disability allowance and introduce a universal state pension.

A new report from the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG) provides an excellent analysis of the gender gap in pensions and provides advice on practices to reduce it. However, a universal state social welfare pension, with entitlement no longer based around labour market connectivity, would be the biggest step towards gender pension equality.

The current State Pension system deprives many people who have spent their lives in caring roles of financial security in their old age. These are people society should be rewarding, not penalising. With the new Programme for Government committing to the proposed Auto Enrolment Plan, an opportunity to increase the fairness of the Irish pension system is being missed, and at a substantial financial cost.

Last week, the Central Statistics Office published the results of its annual Pensions Survey. Much of the reaction suggested that things would be much better if private pension coverage in Ireland was higher than it is. However given its expense, and the way the benefits accrue mainly to the better off, we're not so sure. Here's the counter argument....

As the DEASP announces some key design features of its proposed Automatic Enrolment pension scheme, our analysis suggests that AE represents poor value for money, with minimal benefit to the State unless the long-term plan is to run down the value of the State pension and force people to rely on their private savings.

Pension-related tax reliefs are an expensive means of subsidising retirement savings for the better off, with little financial benefit to the State. The current system has a very high fiscal cost, yet is currently failing to meet its targets in relation to coverage and income adequacy. In this article, we show that the arguments in favour of continuing this perverse incentive system do not stack up. There is no fiscal benefit to the exchequer in either the short or the long term.

Social Justice Ireland makes the case for an increase in core social welfare rates of €9 per week for single people in Budget 2020 to ensure the welfare benchmark is maintained at the Pre-Budget Forum in Dublin Castle.

The Irish Pension system is in need of significant reform. Unfortunately policymakers have limited the scope of this reform to introducing Automatic Enrolment and very little else. In any format and by any measure, Auto Enrolment will greatly increase the (already significant) cost to the Exchequer of a private system that is failing to achieve its goals.A forthcoming conference, organised by the Pension Policy Research Group, will look at aspects of Auto Enrolment and the implications for the Irish pension system.

Society should reward people who have spent their lives in caring roles, but the current State Pension system deprives them of security in their old age. As the rollout of the Government’s Roadmap for Pensions Reform continues, an opportunity to increase the fairness of the Irish pension system is being missed, and at a substantial financial cost.

Pages